PV Sindhu tells Telangana deputy CM, ‘thanks but no thanks’


India’s badminton sensation PV Sindhu, who did her country proud by winning silver medal at 2016 Rio Olympics, has snubbed Telangana deputy chief minister on his offer for a foreign coach.

Speaking to NDTV, the champion shuttler said, “For me, Gopichand is my best coach. Don’t want to comment on what minister said.”

Sindhu’s comments were in response to Telangana minister Mehmood Ali’s offer for a foreign coach for her in future.

Ali on Monday had said, “We are planning to give Sindhu proper training with foreign coach so that she can fetch gold next time.”

Indian politicians have been busy trying to outsmart each other to show their support for Sindhu and her coach by showering gifts, cash and land.

Olympic medalist PV Sindhu was accorded a civic reception in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday by the Chandrababu Naidu government even as she grew nostalgic about the first steps she took as a badminton player in the city.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu felicitated Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand. He announced a 15-acre site for Gopichand in the proposed Sports City in the state’s capital Amaravati for setting up a badminton academy.

As the Telangana government sought to “own” the Olympics silver medalist as “daughter of our soil”, Chandrababu and his government took pains to proclaim that the champion indeed belonged to Andhra Pradesh.

“Her father is from Eluru and mother from Vijayawada. Both were volleyball players and the credit goes to them for encouraging and nurturing Sindhu to become what she is today,” Chandrababu said, repeatedly referring to her as “mana ammai” (our daughter). On her part, while thanking the AP government for the honour, Sindhu recalled her visits to the city as a child.

“I used to come to Vijayawada to my grandfather’s house and play shuttle at the indoor stadium here,” she said. “Thanks to your blessings and prayers, I have come this far. My parents and coach encouraged me very well. As a kid I used to watch Gopi sir play and got inspired,” she added.