When it boils down to matters of discipline, Pullela Gopichand has no peers with PV Sindhu learning it the hard way since her formative years at the legendary coach’s academy.
In pursuit of excellence, there are little pleasures of life that needs to be sacrificed and from Saina Nehwal to Sindhu, Gopi’s theory has never changed.
However on a day when his ward Sindhu etched her name in the Indian sporting history as the first ever woman to win a silver medal, the strict teacher is ready to become an indulgent elder brother.
With ‘Mission Accomplished’, Sindhu can now get back to being another 21-year-old, who would now be able to Whatsapp her friends and enjoy her favourite ice-cream.
“Sindhu did not have her phone during the last three months. The first thing is I would return her phone. The second thing, after coming here for last 12-13 days, I had deprived her from having sweet curd which she likes most. I also stopped her from eating ice-cream. Now she can eat whatever she wants,” an elated Gopi told PTI after Sindhu’s silver winning feat.
Gopi hailed Sindhu’s work ethic during the lead upto the Olympics.
“She has had a great last week. The kind of work she has put in in the last two months is tremendous. The kind of sacrifices she has made without complaining is fantastic. She deserved to enjoy the moment and that’s what I really wanted her to do. I’m very truly very happy.”
At 21, Sindhu’s journey has just begun and Gopi expects bigger things from one of her favourite students.
“Sindhu is much younger. I think she has developed a lot in this tournament. She has a lot of potential to grow further. You should give your best shot. She has done us proud. I’m really happy for her.”
Gopi’s advice to Sindhu has been to think about having won a silver rather than feel disappointed on having missed gold.
“I told her don’t think that you lost it. Remember that we have won a medal. I wanted to tell her this to ensure that she does not forget the last week’s effort that she put in to come to second place on the podium.
“She has done us all proud by the kind of the effort she’s put in. From our side we are happy, I wanted her to enjoy the moment going into the podium. It’s important for me, more than her, that to forget that she lost the match and focus on the fact that she won the medal.
“Although Gopi said that he would have been happier had the national anthem been played at the stadium.
“I just wish that our flag had gone one bit higher and our National anthem was played. But having said that, hats off to Sindhu for the kind of effort she’s put in,” he said