India’s chief national coach Pullela Gopichand’s 13-year-old son had a winning feat in the Boys’ Under-17 qualification round on Tuesday. Not many were aware that he was the son of an acclaimed badminton player until his name was read out as Pullela Sai Vishnu. The boy took the court against Haryana’s Rehan Rathee, winning the Under-17 qualification round (15-6, 15-10) at the 26th Smt. Krishna Khaitan Memorial All India Junior Ranking Badminton Tournament. Sai Vishnu was playing his second U-17 national ranking tournament following his elder sister, Gayatri, into the junior shuttle circuit’s competitive courts, Indian Express reported.
He was accompanied by his grandmother, Subbaravamma, and coach, Anil Kumar. While Gayatri is already making a mark in the national and international circuit, this is Vishnu’s second meet at the U-17 level, after Chennai where he lost in the second round. The boy has won three sub-junior rankings tournament in Jaipur, Goa and Tirupur in the U-15 doubles category in the last three months, pairing up with Pranav Rao Gandham to climb to the top spot in India’s U-15 doubles rankings. Last year, the pair finished as the runners-up in the U-13 doubles category in the 30th Sub-Junior National Badminton Championship, after winning the U-13 doubles title in the All India Ranking Tournament in Gulbarga, where Vishnu also reached the semi-finals in singles. The pair also won in Patna and two titles in Hyderabad last year.