Gopichand is currently the Indian national coach and singularly responsible for putting India back on the world map as a badminton power house. Saina Nehwal, who won a bronze medal at the London Olympics earlier this year, is one of his most illustrious students.
"Bahrain has fantastically proven that they are capable of competing on a world-class level. Their value as a sporting nation increases with such tournaments and the arrangements are really impressive. Showcasing so many countries at once is no easy task, and I congratulate Bahrain for doing that so wonderfully," said Gopichand talking to the GDN.
Certified by the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC), the glittering badminton extravaganza will see close to 125 players compete for $15,000 and valuable ranking points.
Turkish Counsellor Fikret Turkes, Thai Ambassador to Bahrain Vichai Varasirikal, UAE Exchange Country manager Deepak Nair, Bahrain Air Sales manager Jayamohan, BBSF Director Board Member Ebrahim Kamal,BKS president PV Radhakrishna Pillai, BKS General secretary Ashley George and officials from the Bahrain Badminton and Squash Federation as well as tournament sponsors attended the function last night.
Later, Gopichand played an exhibition match against Bahrain champion Jafar Ebrahim Jafar Al Sayed much to the fan's delight.
Round of 32 matches commence today at 6pm.
The tournament finale will take place on Saturday. Entry to the tournament is free of charge.
Results of lat night's matches: Sarang Lakhanee (IND) bt Jayakumar Pullani (BRN) 21-11, 21-8; Mayank Behal (IND) bt Junith Mottil (BRN) 21-11, 21-11; Amro Nidal Alnounbani (JOR) bt Adnan Ebrahim (BRN) 21-10,21-6; P Vikas Harsha (IND) bt Randy Bacia (BRN) 21-11,21-7; Shadeed Kareem (EGY) bt Saied Taki (BRN) 25-23,21-12; Baha Aldeen Rateb Jallod (JOR) bt Jobin John bt (BRN) 21-14,21-10.
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