India's badminton great Pullela Gopichand's contribution has been a vital cog for India's success in the sport at global stages. Besides being one of the best players of his time, his dedication to the game has been proven through training the present stars like Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth.
Gopichand, who recently attended the India Today Inspirations conclave hosted by sports journalist and author Boria Majumder, told that he expects PV Sindhu will win a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and she will go as a favourite among the medal contenders as Tokyo's slow court will favour Sindhu's way of playing.
"Sindhu walks on with an advantage as the conditions in Tokyo are slow," the Dronacharya awardee said in the interview. He added, "Saina also has a chance of qualifying for the Olympics and could be a medal prospect if her fitness improves 10%."
In the race for Indian shuttlers qualifying for the 2020 Olympics, India's no.1 badminton player PV Sindhu remains at the top.
The 24-year-old 2016 Olympics silver medallist is currently sixth on the BWF Olympics rankings list (updated on January 28, 2020-week 5) and is eligible for the direct qualification quota of the 2020 Olympics, if the rankings remain the same until April 30, 2020.
Playing 14 events in the scheduled qualifying period, PV Sindhu has amassed 67,754 points averaging 4,839 points per tournament. Further helping her cause is Japan's fifth-placed Akane Yamaguchi, who will be getting host NOC's automatic qualification quota.
Sindhu on in an interview with PTI, spoke about her fitness and said proper planning and picking the right tournaments will be crucial to succeeding at the Tokyo Olympics.
"It is very important to stay fit as this is the Olympic year. It is not that you should go to tournaments without being 100 percent. It is important to stay healthy and be fit and then go for tournaments,"
"Also personally you have to plan and see which tournament you want to play as it is the Olympic year. So you have to plan accordingly," added the Indian, who was recently conferred with the Padma Bhushan.
Asked about her preparation for the Tokyo Games, the Rio Olympics silver medallist said: "The preparation is going on really well for the Olympics and there are lot of important tournaments coming up which will help a me a lot to prepare for the Olympics. The shuttler, who is going to give the Asian Championships a miss, said "Since it is an Olympic year, it important to choose tournament wisely as it will help me to stay in proper shape for the Olympics."