Sindhu was fantastic: Gopichand

Guangzhou, Aug 8 (IANS) India's chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand was elated with three of his proteges reaching the quarterfinals of the World Championships here Thursday.

P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap reached the last eight stage of the worlds, making it a first for India, in their respective categories. The trio is just a step away from a podium finish.

World No.12 Sindhu caused the biggest upset of the tournament so far by knocking out defending champion Yihan Wang of China 21-18, 23-21 in the women's singles third round at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium.

Earlier, third seed Saina overcame a jittery start to win 18-21, 21-16, 21-14 against Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk while Kashyap, seeded 13th, advanced to the men's singles quarters beating Hong Kong's sixth seed Yun Hu 21-13, 21-16.

"Sindhu was fantastic, specially the way she fought towards the end in the second game when Yihan came back strongly and saved three match points," said Gopichand.

"I am really happy. Three players reaching the quarterfinals is history being created for Indian badminton. Now we need to take this performance to the next level tomorrow. The target is to reach the semifinals first," the former All-England Champion added.

Sindhu was also elated about her victory over the London Olympics silver medallist.

"I cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I just went into the match with the determination to give my 100 percent and I am really happy to have pulled off this victory," said an excited Sindhu.

A happy Kashyap also echoed similar sentiments.

"I have been in the quarters of Olympics and the All England. So I am happy I have reached this stage again," said Kashyap.