Gopichand`s achievement is unmatchable, says Maken

New Delhi: `P` stands for Pullela and `P` stands for Padma Shri, is how the minister for sports and youth affairs, Ajay Maken, described the former badminton champion and coach of Indian team Pullela Gopichand.

Addressing a small gathering at the India International Centre on Saturday, Maken while releasing the biography -- Pullela Gopichand, The World Beneath His Feat -- said "what Gopi has achieved is unmatched of".

"He is the only one to have assimilated the skills of the game as a player and disseminate them successfully as the coach. Arjuna award in 1999, a Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2001 and a Dronacharya in 2009, his feat is really remarkable," said Maken while describing Gopichand.

The winner of All-England Badminton Championship in 2001, was however candid enough in admitting he was "fortunate enough to play the sport".

Meanwhile, the author of the biography, Sanjay Sharma, a former national badminton champion, said the book will serve as inspiration for the budding sports enthusiasts.

The author though revealed that the only difficulty which he faced during his work was the negative attitude of some publishing houses towards the subject matter.

"Why a book on Gopi, why not on cricket. Why don`t you write on Vinod Kambli (former cricketer)," were some of the responses which the author had to content with while he was looking to publish his work.

The author, however, said it was great experience working with the champion but rued the "notoriously non-communicative" nature of Gopichand.


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