|Born||16 November 1973|
Nagandla, Andhra Pradesh, India
|Height||1.82 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
|Highest ranking||5 (15 March 2001)|
Pullela Gopichand (born 16 November 1973) is a former Indian badminton player. Currently, he is the Chief National Coach for the India national badminton team. He won the All England Open Badminton Championships in 2001, becoming the second Indian to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone. He runs the Gopichand Badminton Academy. He received the Arjuna Award in 1999, the Dronacharya Award in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan – India's third highest civilian award – in 2014.
Pullela Gopichand was born on 16 November 1973 near Chirala Town to Mr. Pullela Subash Chandra and Mrs. Pullela Subbaravamma, in Prakasam district, Andhra Pradesh. Initially, he was interested in playing cricket, but his elder brother encouraged him to take up badminton instead. His family settled in Nizamabad for a while. He did his schooling in St. Paul's High School, Hyderabad. He joined A. V. College, Hyderabad and graduated in public administration. He was the captain of the Indian combined universities badminton team in 1990 and 1991.
Pullela was coached by S. M. Arif before Prakash Padukone accepted him at Prakash Padukone academy [permanent dead link]. He also trained under Ganguly Prasad at the SAI Bangalore. Pullela won his first National Badminton Championship title in 1996, and went on to win the title five times in a row, until 2000. He won two gold medals and one silver medal at the Indian national games, 1998, held at Imphal. At the international level, he represented India in 3 Thomas Cup tournaments. In 1996, he won a gold in the SAARC badminton tournament at Vijayawada and defended his crown in the next games held at Colombo in 1997. At the 1998 Commonwealth Games, he won a silver in the team event and a bronze in men's singles.
In 1999, he won the Toulouse Open Championship in France and the Scottish Open Championship in Scotland. He also emerged as the winner at the Asian satellite tournament held at Hyderabad in the same year, and lost in the final match of the German Grand Prix Championship.
In 2001, he won the All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham. He defeated then world number one Peter Gade in the semi-finals before defeating Chen Hong of China to lift the trophy. He became the second Indian to achieve the feat after Prakash Padukone, who won in 1980.
|2000||Istora Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia||Taufik Hidayat||4–15, 12–15||Bronze|
|1998||Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia||Wong Choong Hann||1–15, 11–15||Bronze|
The World Badminton Grand Prix sanctioned by International Badminton Federation (IBF) from 1983 to 2006.
|1997||India Open||Hariyanto Arbi||4–15, 7–15||Runner-up|
|1999||French Open||Chen Gang||8–15, 15–10, 10–15||Runner-up|
|1999||German Open||Xia Xuanze||3–15, 15–13, 4–15||Runner-up|
|2001||All England Open||Chen Hong||15–12, 15–6||Winner|
|1999||Le Volant d'Or de Toulouse||Richard Vaughan||15–13, 14–15, 15–6||Winner|
|1999||Scottish Open||Siddharth Jain||15–7, 15–10||Winner|
|1999||India International||Ajit Wijetilek||15–6, 15–13||Winner|
|2004||India Asian Satellite||J. B. S. Vidyadhar||15–6, 15–1||Winner|
After retiring from his playing career, Pullela founded the Gopichand Badminton Academy in 2008 after reportedly mortgaging his own house. Nimmagadda Prasad, a renowned industrialist, donated ₹50 million (equivalent to ₹170 million or US$2.1 million in 2023) on a condition that his academy win a medal for India at the Olympics in badminton. The academy produced several badminton players including Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu, Sai Praneeth, Parupalli Kashyap, Srikanth Kidambi, Arundhati Pantawane, Gurusai Datt, and Arun Vishnu. Saina Nehwal went on to win the bronze medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, while P. V. Sindhu went on to win the silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the bronze medal at the pandemic-hit 2020 Summer Olympics, and also became the first Indian to win the gold medal at the BWF World Championships. Pullela also served as the official Indian Olympic Badminton Team coach at the 2016 Rio Olympics held in Brazil.
Rewards for Coaching the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics silver medallist P. V. Sindhu
Pullela married fellow badminton player P. V. V. Lakshmi on 5 June 2002. They have two children, a daughter named Gayathri and a son named Vishnu.
In Dec 2020, he launched guided meditation sessions for athletes named "Dhyana for Sports" in the App Dhyana. The sessions have been designed by him based on his experience training athletes. He is also the Director of Dhyana. Dhyana, in collaboration with Heartfulness Institute, was the official meditation partner of the Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) for Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.