Former Indian badminton player and current national coach for Indian badminton team, Pullela Gopichand, is one of the best badminton players to ever come out of India has often been credited for putting India on the world map of badminton. But, Indian TV channel, India Today, generated controversy by terming Gopichand as ‘little known Indian coach’.
In a now deleted tweet, India Today wrote, "The litlle-known Indian coach, who recently received a nod from the International Olympics Committee for his work, has trained talents like Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu."
This choice of words by the TV channel did not settle well with the Twitter users as they went on to slam the network.
One user wrote, “Gopichand is "Little known" ?? Have some shame @IndiaToday #Gopichand".
Another wrote, “Pullela Gopichand is a ‘little known' Indian coach who has won Arjun awardee, Dronacharya awardee, Padma Sri, Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Indian sports, Right @IndiaToday".
Legendary badminton player & coach Pullela Gopichand is "Little known" for India Today. This is Pullela Gopichand: -All England Open Badminton Championships winner -Arjuna Award -Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -Padma Shri -Dronacharya Award -Padma Bhushan #Gopichand @UnSubtleDesi," wrote another.
On Sunday, the coach received Honorable Mention for the IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Olympic Committee. Gopichand has been integral in the rise of Indian badminton over the past decade with the likes of Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, all learning the ropes under him.
"I am pleased to inform you that an Honourable Mention is being awarded to Mr Pullela Gopichand for the male category of the 2019 IOC Coaches Lifetime Achievement Awards," the IOC Athletes' Entourage Commission said in a statement.
"The Panel wish to recognise his efforts in the development of Badminton in India, his efforts in supporting athletes across sports and his contribution to the Olympic Movement."
The awards is an initiative of the Commission to recognise achievements of coaches towards developing a sport in their country in line with the Olympic values. Athletics coach Malcolm Arnold from Great Britain and artistic gymnastic coach Ulla Koch from Germany were announced as the winners.
(With Agency Inputs)