Former badminton star Pullela Gopichand and Poona District Metropolitan Association (PDMBA) launched commemorative coffee table book - 'The Poona Game,' to honour the 150 years of the game that was born in the city and mark its own 75th anniversary.
The book was launched by Vice President -Badminton Association of India (BAI) Padma Bhushan Pullela Gopichand and General Secretary - BAI Sanjay Mishra on a virtual platform.
Speaking over the virtual platform, Gopichand said: "This indeed is a glorious occasion! A day that conjoins the historic legacy of the birth of 'Poona Badminton' dating back to 150 years, the tireless association of the Poona District Metropolitan Badminton Association (PDMBA) through half the number of years since badminton was born in this city and during it all the celebration of India's first-ever gold medal in the Thomas Cup."
"As a member of the badminton fraternity at large, and having earned my name, it is my honour to be part of this moment and unfold chronicled history," he added.
Praising the PDMBA for shaping badminton through the coffee table book, Gopichand said: "PDMBA has done a wonderful job to shape badminton through the Coffee Table Book, which also includes their dedicated effort in producing players of international repute, the finest on and off the court officials who together are world renowned and looked up to by the fraternity across the world."
"To me Pune holds a special place. I have bitter-sweet memories of the city. It was here that my career almost ended in 1995 with dreadful injury during the National Games, but then it was also here that I came back two years later, in 1997, to win my maiden Senior National title. I also cannot forget the fond family relations with the Natu family and a close friendship with Ranjeet Natu, who at one time paired up as my doubles partner and won a national ranking event," said Gopichand.
"The CTB launch will be yet another takeaway memory from the city, a memory that will remain in years to come. The CTB, personally, is piece de resistance for the finesse in which the journey of the sport is captured and synopsised. Surely, a first of its kind by any association in India," he said. (ANI)