Difficult Time for Younger Players: Pullela Gopichand Hoping to Return to Training as Soon as Government Permits

Pullela Gopichand (Photo Credit: PTI)

Pullela Gopichand (Photo Credit: PTI)

Pullela Gopichand is hoping that the Indian contingent to return to training as soon as possible to prepare for the Tokyo Olympics

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand admitted that the current circumstances resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is not good for younger players. For now, athletes who are in the mix for the Tokyo Olympics are priority as training camps around the country open up after being suspended for three months due to the pandemic.

"Difficult times for younger players since we are looking at normalcy as part of sport. (It's) looking difficult for the present," Pullela Goipchand told IANS.

In the case of badminton, however, a national camp which was planned to start from July 1 at the SAI- Gopichand National Badminton Academy in Hyderabad never saw the light of the day with the Telangana state government not giving it the nod.

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"We are hoping to see a return to training as soon as the government gives us the permission," Gopichand said. "We await government guidelines on sport for resuming training camps."

Players are for now making do with basic training in their own capacities and Gopichand has been in touch with his wards through video conferences.

This includes taking coaching sessions for kids in Mizoram as part of a joint initiative of Tata Trusts along with the Gopichand Academy, North East Initiative Development Agency and the Mizoram Badminton Association that began in 2018.