Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu has refuted reports of an alleged refute with national coach Pullela Gopichand after the star Indian shuttler decided to train at the Gachibowli indoor stadium in Hyderabad, shifting her practice base from the Gopichand academy.
"I don’t have any differences with Gopichand. Everything is fine between us, she told The Times of India.
"I'll be practising at the Gachibowli indoor stadium with my South Korean coach Park Tae Sang till the Tokyo Olympics and not at the Gopichand academy. Having said that, nothing much should be read between my decision to train at the indoor badminton halls", the 25-year-old added.
It was reported last week that Sindhu's decision to move out of the Gopichand Academy was for psychological reasons as Gachibowli Stadium provides that feeling of playing at a world-class venue.
"The indoor arena size is of international standards. It’s similar to that of the badminton venue at the Tokyo Olympics and what we generally experience during international tournaments. It’s important to understand the familiarity of the venue and stimulate such conditions at home.
"Also, the AC blowers are a major factor for ‘drift’ inside the playing venue. Getting used to the drift because of the effect blowers will have on the shuttlecock will help us at the Olympics. Most of the academies in Hyderabad don’t have the blowers, so we miss understanding the drift. Here, at the Gachibowli indoor arena, you can master the drift factor,” she explained.
Last week, PV Ramanna, Sindhu's father and a former international volleyball player, clarified that there wasn't any disagreement with Gopichand. "She hasn't split with Gopichand but wants to train in an ambience that gives her a feel as if she is training in an Olympic arena. The change of venue is with the approval of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and in coordination with the Badminton Association of India (BAI)," Ramana, told IANS.
Sindhu hasn't qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games so far but is close to securing the berth. In her quest to achieve a podium finish at the Olympics this July-August, she will train under the Korean coach Park Tae Sang from Tuesday.
"There shouldn’t be any comparison between the facilities available at the two venues. I had requested the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the same and the permission was granted to me. I have heard that the doubles players would also be training at the Gachibowli for the Olympics,” Sindhu told TOI.
It was also reported by The Times of India that it was on Gopichand’s request that the Gachibowli badminton halls were made available for practice to national camp players preparing for the Olympics and qualification tournaments.
"I thank the Telangana government for allotting the Gachibowli badminton courts for training of top national players who are preparing for the Olympic qualification tournaments and Olympics. This will help the players train inside a large facility to get used to the Olympic venue", Gopichand told The Times of India.