Coach awed Srikanth beat Dan

Top Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand has revealed he did not expect his student Srikanth Kidambi to beat Lin Dan.

Gopichand was speaking about the great promise shown by Indian shuttlers in 2014, revealing he expects them to do even better in 2015.

Last year was somewhat of a breakthrough year for Srikanth, climaxing with his 21-19, 21-17 victory over Chinese shuttling legend Dan in the China Open final in November. As a result of that result he rose to number four in the men's world rankings.

Gopichand said: "Beating Lin Dan in China is the dream of every shuttler. Frankly, I didn't expect Srikanth to do that."

Other male shuttlers who dominated were Parupalli Kashyap, who claimed the men's singles crown in Commonwealth Games, and the titles won by HS Prannoy, Saurabh Varma, and Ajay Jayaram.

The coach, who used to mentor Saina Nehwal until her coach switch last year, would not say 2014 was his best year. 

He said: "All this success is just the result of our hard work. I have been saying since 2011 that some big performances from the men will come and it happened last year. We want to do better this year. It's a challenge to improve upon the performance of last year. However, I don't think it will be difficult."

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