Even as badminton star PV Sindhu won bronze in the women's singles category at the Tokyo Olympics, one of the biggest pillars behind her success has gone unnoticed.
Hyderabad: Even as badminton star PV Sindhu won bronze in the women's singles category at the Tokyo Olympics, one of the biggest pillars behind her success has gone unnoticed.
Just like every Olympic medalist, PV Sindhu also has a backup system to help here achieve success. But while her trainer Pullela Gopichand is perhaps the most visible part of that backup system, Nimmagadda Prasad is far away from the limelight.
A well-known serial entrepreneur and industrialist based in Hyderabad, Nimmagadda Prasad provided crucial support to Pullela Gopichand when the former India star was attempting a badminton academy.
But in the 2000s, it was cricket which was the national obsession and Gopichand's dream of establishing a badminton academy found very few takers. The former All England champion was greeted with a cold response by prospective donors as it was widely believed at the time that badminton is a non-glamorous sport with no spectators in India.
However, Nimmagadda Prasad salvaged Gopichand's dream with more than generous funding when approached by the former badminton star.
As a result, the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy eventually came into existence in Hyderabad in 2008 and gradually established itself as a premier badminton training facility. In the first instalment, Nimmagadda Prasad gifted Gopichand Rs 2 crore and later gave another Rs 3 crore.
Over the years, the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy has nurtured some of the top shuttlers of India. Apart from PV Sindhu, several other top badminton stars such as Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy and Sai Praneeth have also trained at the academy.