It came at 0-3 down in P V Sindhu’s semifinal against Nozomi Okuhara. The Japanese was threatening to snatch the momentum. Gopichand had been yelling, “Jump and smash. Jump and toss”, drawing out of his player the last ounce of explosive power. Sindhu would respond with a flurry of jump smashes — she had five through the match. She would win 10 straight points and storm into contention for a gold medal. The coach was suitably satisfied. His strategy had been executed to the last leaping detail.
There were bigger mountains to climb. Carolina Marin next.
Pullela Gopichand, former All England champion, was now feeding his athletes what he had been starved off: ready inputs, strategy, an on-court Pentium processor, knowledge and an incredible mind off court.
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Source Credits: Shivani Naik in The Indian Express. Image above shows P V Sindhu with P Gopichand.