The same day when India’s only female Olympic silver medallist returned to the country, Telangana’s Deputy CM, Mahmood Ali, made an uncalled for statement.
He said, “We are planning to give Sindhu proper coaching so that she can fetch gold next time.”
Later in an interview with News18, the minister added, "The entire country is proud of her. No player could ever reach that level. Thus we are very happy that our daughter from Telangana has earned a name across the world. In future, we will find a better coach for Sindhu. Her current coach is also very good, but we will find a coach for her so that she wins a Gold medal next time."
Although, lack of government facilities for sports other than cricket has been a real issue, efforts by Sindhu’s coach Pullela Gopichand have been lauded for a time now. Gopichand has been credited for the success of not only Sindhu but Saina Nehwal who had achieved a highest rank of World No 1. Even Jwala Gutta, Srikanth Kidambi trains in his Hyderabad academy.
Even rewarding athletes by various state and central governments have also been criticized by noted experts like Prem Panicker.
Amazing how ministers, who can’t tell a shuttle racket from that thing you swat mosquitoes with, now want a piece of the Sindhu pie.— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) August 22, 2016
Also note: Everyone ready with cash awards for winners. Not a word about the athletes who finished top 10, no help for them to win next time— Prem Panicker (@prempanicker) August 22, 2016
These are some of the reactions that followed the statement.
So a foreign coach will bring India the gold Sindhu couldn't bring because Gopichand was her coach. What kind of adulation is that?— Shelly Walia (@shellywalia) August 22, 2016