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Biopic On Olympic Badminton Coach P Gopichand Planned

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A biopic on Pullela Gopichand, former badminton player and coach to Olympic medalist PV Sindhu, is being planned.The film, a Hindi and Tamil bilingual, will be directed by National Award-winning director Praveen Sattaru.

Abhisek Nama, the biopic producer, believes Gopichand’s exploits will be as much a hit on celluloid as he had been on the court. “Gopichand’s life is very filmy, the early struggle, his love story, his mother’s emotion, his injury that almost finished his career and then his win that changed the face of Indian badminton. It is a story waiting to be told.”

The film will not just focus on his journey on the court, but will also show glimpses of his personal life. “The film will follow his life as a player. The plot will trace how he started playing badminton as a kid and will chronicle all his achievements, and end on the high note of his career – his All England Open victory,” a source told ToI.

The project is scheduled to go on the floor this November and will be shot across Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bengaluru and Birmingham. Telugu actor Sudheer Babu, who was once trained under Gopichand, will play his former guru. “I do not need to prepare for this role because I have seen him from close quarters. I have played doubles with him. I only need to change my look to resemble him,” he told Hindustan Times.

Pullela Gopichand, born in Nagandla (Andhra Pradesh), began playing badminton from a young age. Having captained several badminton teams in his school and college days, Gopichand was trained by SM Arif before joining Prakash Padukone’s Badminton Academy. Gopi, as he’s fondly known, represented India in various international events, and went on to win a silver and a bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.

In 2001, he won the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships in Birmingham. He defeated the then world number one Peter Gade in the semi-finals and went on to beat Chen Hong of China in the finals. He became only the second Indian to lift the trophy, after Prakash Padukone.

Gopichand gained recognition for his coaching skills after Saina Nehwal’s victory at the 2009 Olympics, which was followed by PV Sindhu’s victory this year.

Meanwhile, Amole Gupte of Stanley ka Dabba fame, is reportedly planning a film on Saina Nehwal.

Feature Image Courtesy: Sportskeeda.com

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