first_imgGopi also praised veteran Dan and reminded how Lee always Gopi also praised veteran Dan and reminded how Lee always lost big finals to the champion Chinese. “Lin Dan is the big match player and Lee Chong Wei has always tripped at the last hurdle. So I think they have the experience and grit on their side and Lee has the desire to win the big match. All three make it difficult for other players. Both Cheng Long and Lin Dan are the players to beat and they are not going to give it easy to him. “Conditions and preparations make a lot of difference. I think a fully fit and focused Lee is a handful to everybody. It is not going to be easy unless you are prepared to beat him because he has got that consistency where you really need to break him.” Srikanth, who had won the 2014 China Super Series Premier and India Super Series last year, had a lacklustre second half but the Guntur lad made a statement when he defeated former World No 1 and double Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei during one of the PBL matches in Mumbai. “I think it was a great match. Srikanth was fired up and aggressive but I think it is important that he has to be consistent. In the life of a sports person, I think a win is not the end of it or a loss is the end of it. So I think he just needs to get this head down and fight,” Gopichand said. “I think the pressure here is far more because of the format, as there are a lot of people who are passionate, the coach, the owners and the money which is paid. So it makes it a lot of pressure and it is helpful to players,” he added. India is likely to field its biggest ever badminton contingent at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year and Gopichand said his wards will look at each tournament from now on as a preparation for the Games. “I think it is a little premature to talk about Olympics at this point because the Olympic qualification is still on. There are quite a few big events and each player will go about preparing for those in a way as if that is the Olympics. Whether it is India Super Series, Asian Championship, All England. So they will really go after these tournaments. “I have to ensure that they have the best progression for the Olympics,” he said. The Chinese women players lost their dominance in world badminton in the last one year as Spain?s Carolina Marin and Indias Saina Nehwal achieved the World No. 1 and 2. Gopichand said the Chinese will find it difficult to regain that dominance as many players with varied styles have become more stronger. “Whatever the Chinese have done have not worked and a lot of players have figured them out. So they have not been able to get a comprehensive strategy for everybody. Earlier, they used to win on fitness but now others have also become fitter and stronger. “It wont be easy to crack them because they are very diverse, one is from Japan, one from India, one from Spain so there are different styles. So they will find it difficult,” he said. Asked if players are finding it difficult to match Carolina Marins speed, Gopichand said: “It is not difficult to match. I think when a player is winning, it feels like it is difficult to match. I think adaptability is the key. Our players also have the speed and it is about how they negate the speed. She for the moment seems good but we have also seen that she can be vulnerable,” Gopi signed off. PTI ATK KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img

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