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Gopichand appointed national badminton coach
May 31, 2006 21:52 IST
Former All England champion Pulella Gopichand was on Wednesday officially appointed coach of the national badminton team.
"The BAI has appointed Mr Gopichand as new national coach in place of Mr Vimal Kumar, who is no longer available due to his other committments," Badminton Association of India president B K Verma announced.
Gopichand will be in charge of the Indian team till the 2010 Commonwealth Games, to be hosted by New Delhi, he said.
Verma said two other coaches -- Nan Ziao Nan of China, for singles, and Hadi Sugyinto, for doubles, would be on the job.
Gopichand said his focus would be on achieving success at the international level.
"It's a great honour for me and it's a big responsibility," the Hyderabad-based former player said.
"If we are able to produce a stream of players who can perform at the international level then the media attraction will come and it will make a big difference to the sport, because badminton is a sport that people play across the country. But people do not follow it much," he said.
The BAI will also launch a Project 2010, after the team returns from the Asian circuit, to develop a pool of players for for the Commonwealth Games.
"It will identify 32 players who will have clear possibility of reaching the peak in the 2010 Games and could win a medal for India," Verma said.
The BAI also signed a sponsorship agreement with Singapore-based Yonex-Sunrise, who will be the official suppliers of attire and equipment for the team.