Hyderabad, Aug 7 :-
Former All-England Badminton Champion and Dronacharya Awardee Pullela Gopichand and the Arjun awardee and first Indian women badminton exponent to reach the World No 6 ranking at 19, Saina Nehwal on Friday met the Chief Minister, Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, to invite him for the inauguration of International Badmintoin Tournament to be held in Hyderabad in September.
On the occasion the Chief Minister presented the cheque for Rs 20 lakh announced for Saina Nehwal. He congratulated both the sports persons and asked them to take the game forward in the country.
Asked about the shortage of quality practice partners in India, compared to Chinese rivals with many world ranked players available for training, Saina quipped: “I have Gopi sir. He is the best training partner I can get,” she referred to long-time coach Pullela Gopi Chand under whose guidance she is preparing for the World senior badminton next month.
Pullela Gopichand is the first Indian to win all the national sports awards—Arjun award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Dronacharya award.
Minister for Sports Komati Reddy Venkatareddy and Minister for Health Danam Nagender were also present on the occasion.