Standard of umpiring in India Open inconsistent: Gopichand
New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand Sunday questioned the standard of umpiring during the India Open badminton tournament, calling it inconsistent.
On Saturday, Indian men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy were called twice for service fault by the umpire during their semifinal match against the Indonesian duo of Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama, which they lost 12-21 17-21.
According to the new BWF rule which was implemented last year, ‘the whole of the shuttle shall be below 1.15 metres from the surface of the court at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket’.
Gopichand said: “I think Sumeeth was a little unlucky yesterday. I think when umpires don’t call you in the entire week and they call you on a particular day, I think there’s something wrong with the standard of umpiring in terms of consistency.”
Talking about the performance of the home shuttlers at the India Open, Gopichand said: “Few of the Indians lost to each other so I would have liked them to play other opponents. The women’s doubles and men’s doubles did well.
“Prannoy had a good tournament. I would have liked Sindhu to wrap up the match yesterday. Women’s doubles and men’s doubles had a chance to go further. I think it has been a good campaign,” he told reporters.
Kidambi Srikanth was the best performer for India as he reached the finals, before losing to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.
Manu and Sumeeth reached the semifinals, while women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy and H S Prannoy, who is recovering from a stomach problem, lost in the quarterfinals.
P V Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap signed off at the semifinals.
Sindhu, in fact, had blown away four game points in the opening game to lose the semifinal match against China’s He Bingjiao in straight games.
“I’m very happy with the way Kidambi has progressed technically,” Gopichand said.
“I think Sindhu could have won. We had our chances in women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles yesterday and they could have pulled through. I think Kashyap also has had a good run. He has had a good tournament. Considering what has happened in the last year with him, it has been a good comeback.”
The national coach said the players were approaching the Olympic qualification with maturity to avoid burn out.
“Players have gotten sensible and they are planning with a lot more maturity than in the past. So, I hope we get some good performances as early as possible to get those slots so there’s no mad rush towards the end leading to a burnout or an injury towards the Olympics.