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Dipankar aims to create Olympic medallists

By The Assam Tribune

ULWE (MAHARASHTRA), Aug 6: He was national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand�s contemporary and had represented India in two Olympics, but now Dipankar Bhattacharjee is following in footsteps of his one-time rival and is aiming to produce Olympic medal winners.

In Ulwe, a town 43km from Mumbai, Bhattacharjee � who represented India in 1992 Barcelona (third round exit) and 1996 Atlanta Olympics (second round exit after first round bye) � is honing the skills of young shuttlers at a centre of his academy here and has even hired a Malaysian coach, Mohammed Hairi bin Matzuber, for his wards.

�My aim is to find at least one Olympic medallist from among these players; that is the only aim in life at the moment,� Bhattacharjee told PTI at the conclusion of one of his coaching sessions at the centre.

�Gopi did his part. I just want to do my part, in whatever best I can do, with whatever knowledge and expertise that I have that I want to share with and give back to the next generation,� the former national singles champion said.

Once a sportsperson, always a sportsperson, has been the motto of Bhattacharjee, who is employed with a government-owned company, but takes out time in the evening aiming to create future badminton stars.

�Many a time I tried being away from sports. I tried to make a career in my office, to rise in the hierarchy. I thought I will make my career in the corporate world, but as a sportsperson I came back to badminton.

�When my son started playing I started devoting more time to it and now I am totally into it,� said Bhattacharjee, who also runs similar training centres in Vashi in Navi Mumbai and Jalandhar in Punjab.

�I am now hoping that one of these children makes it to the top,� said the 47-year-old three-time national champion.

He credited Gopichand, a former winner of All England Open Badminton Championships, for the rise of Indian badminton.

�I would definitely thank Gopi for making the effort of taking badminton to a different level where it is today and a bigger share of credit goes to him,� he said.

Bhattacharjee said things have changed a lot from his playing days.

�When I and Gopi played together, we faced difficulties like finding sponsors, obtaining the visas and foreign exchanges. Before our foreign trips, we hardly practised.

�We used to run around from pillar to post, making arrangements for tickets, money, etc. After winning the All England title, Gopi�s state supported him and he immediately went into starting his academy.

�This one step that he has taken has made a lot of difference to Indian badminton,� he elaborated.

Asked if he is in touch with Gopichand, Bhattacharjee responded, �Yes, off and on�. � PTI

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Dipankar aims to create Olympic medallists

ULWE (MAHARASHTRA), Aug 6: He was national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand�s contemporary and had represented India in two Olympics, but now Dipankar Bhattacharjee is following in footsteps of his one-time rival and is aiming to produce Olympic medal winners.

In Ulwe, a town 43km from Mumbai, Bhattacharjee � who represented India in 1992 Barcelona (third round exit) and 1996 Atlanta Olympics (second round exit after first round bye) � is honing the skills of young shuttlers at a centre of his academy here and has even hired a Malaysian coach, Mohammed Hairi bin Matzuber, for his wards.

�My aim is to find at least one Olympic medallist from among these players; that is the only aim in life at the moment,� Bhattacharjee told PTI at the conclusion of one of his coaching sessions at the centre.

�Gopi did his part. I just want to do my part, in whatever best I can do, with whatever knowledge and expertise that I have that I want to share with and give back to the next generation,� the former national singles champion said.

Once a sportsperson, always a sportsperson, has been the motto of Bhattacharjee, who is employed with a government-owned company, but takes out time in the evening aiming to create future badminton stars.

�Many a time I tried being away from sports. I tried to make a career in my office, to rise in the hierarchy. I thought I will make my career in the corporate world, but as a sportsperson I came back to badminton.

�When my son started playing I started devoting more time to it and now I am totally into it,� said Bhattacharjee, who also runs similar training centres in Vashi in Navi Mumbai and Jalandhar in Punjab.

�I am now hoping that one of these children makes it to the top,� said the 47-year-old three-time national champion.

He credited Gopichand, a former winner of All England Open Badminton Championships, for the rise of Indian badminton.

�I would definitely thank Gopi for making the effort of taking badminton to a different level where it is today and a bigger share of credit goes to him,� he said.

Bhattacharjee said things have changed a lot from his playing days.

�When I and Gopi played together, we faced difficulties like finding sponsors, obtaining the visas and foreign exchanges. Before our foreign trips, we hardly practised.

�We used to run around from pillar to post, making arrangements for tickets, money, etc. After winning the All England title, Gopi�s state supported him and he immediately went into starting his academy.

�This one step that he has taken has made a lot of difference to Indian badminton,� he elaborated.

Asked if he is in touch with Gopichand, Bhattacharjee responded, �Yes, off and on�. � PTI