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The Second Indian to win the All England Championship"

The biggest title in the game of Badminton has been clinched by Hyderabad's Pullela Gopichand at the All England Badminton Championship at Birmingham. He made a comprehensive victory of 15-12,15-6 over China's Chen Hong and become the second Indian after Prakash Padukone to win the coveted title. Such has been the domination of Gopichand that he did not lose even a single game in the All England tourney.

Earlier he had shocked world No:1 Peter Gade Christiensen of Denmark in the semi-finals 17-14,17-15. 

(Gopichand receiving the Arjuna Award by the President of India. Interestingly, no badminton player had been recommended for this coveted award for more than a decade.)

 "His is a story of sheer hard work & determination"
( Gopi's classmate at St.Pauls High School recollects his obsession with the game).

When the 1988 batch of St. Paul's High School passed out, hoping to make a mark somewhere, young Gopichand was the only lad who had already made a mark in the Badminton field.

His is indeed a story of sheer hard work, single-mindedness and pure determination for the game of Badminton. All these traits were seen in him when he was in the 5th standard itself. That means Gopi's skill at Badminton was the talk of the school when he was hardly around 10 years old. Probably his interest in Badminton might have been rooted much before that.

The entire school used to go to the indoor stadium at Fateh Maidan to watch Gopi's game. The Inter school Monford Games brought him into the competitive league. It is commendable that Gopichand has sustained his interest in the game which has finally given him rich dividends by winning the coveted All England championship-a dream come true for any Indian sports man.

During the last Olympic Games when Gopi was hailed as India's best bet for an Olympic Gold, Hyderabad was eagerly awaiting for the birth of a legend. It was a big blow when Gopi crashed in the pre-quarters. Nevertheless Gopi had this tendency to come back in style and now he has overcome the Olympic debacle with a bang by winning the All England Championship for India,21 years after Prakash Padukone won it for India. It is the biggest moment for a Hyderabadi sportsman in recent times.

When Gopi land up in the city with the coveted trophy, it would be the biggest reception for any Hyderabadi sportsman and all the way till his flat in Himayatnagar 'the shuttle called Gopi will be in the air'

What a moment for Indian sports.

Grand reception for  Gopi Chand in City:75 lakhs state gifts bonanza +Hyundai Car

March' 2001

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