Gopichand, Kashyap bask in Saina's bronze win
Saina Nehwal's bronze medal win at the Olympics is the happiest moment of her career. For her coach Pullela Gopichand, however, it means the world.
He may have not won an Olympic medal during his playing days, but his protege made him proud after making it to the podium on Saturday.
"This is huge for Indian badminton. It has been my dream for many years," Gopichand told Rediff.com as he burst into tears.
"This was something that we all worked for so many years, and I am happy that Saina won the medal here," added the 2001 All-England champion.
'Saina won't be satisfied with the bronze medal'
The 38-year-old runs the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad and is the man responsible for the meteoric rise of Saina and Parupalli Kashyap, who lost in the quarter-finals of the men's singles in London.
Kashyap, who came close to winning a medal himself, was equally delighted by Saina's bronze medal feat in the women's singles.
"I am very happy that she won the medal. I wanted her to win the gold medal and even she herself wanted to win the gold medal. I am sure she won't be satisfied with the bronze medal, but I am happy for her that she won the medal and ended up on the podium," he said.
'This will encourage her to train harder and get back stronger'
Kashyap believes that Saina has it in her to improve and bag the gold medal at the next Olympics.
"This will encourage her to train harder and get back stronger in the next couple of years and be ready to win the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio," he added.
Among those cheering for Saina during the bronze medal play-off match against China's Wang Xin was the richest Indian in the world, Lakshmi Mittal.
"Everyone should be very happy that she won a bronze medal. Unfortunately, the game was not played fully. I hope she continues to make progress," said Mittal.
Mittal, who was present at the Wembley Arena with his son Aditya, wants India to win a few more medals in London, including a gold medal.
"No, I am not happy yet. Three medals are good news, but not enough. I will be happy if India wins a gold medal," he said.