Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu training at different Pullela Gopichand academies: report
In a move that may add further intensity to their rivalry, badminton stars Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are undergoing training under the same coach, former Indian player Pullela Gopichand, but at different locations.
According to the Times of India, both Saina and Sindhu have been training under the national badminton coach Gopichand at different academies since the last few days, and the reason is that they are not ‘comfortable training together’.
“In the interest of the players, our coaching team has taken this decision. I had earlier trained them in separate schedules. We do whatever suits the players best,” Gopichand was quoted as saying.
“I have no problem. Everything is going well and the players are also doing quite well,” he added.
The development has taken place after the Indian contingent arrived home from the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, wherein Saina had defeated Sindhu in the final to claim the gold medal.
“Sindhu was not comfortable training at the new academy. Since it is an individual sport, there will always be competition, so to hold on to her own tactics, she decided to train at the old academy after the Commonwealth Games,” Sindhu’s father PV Ramana told PTI.
“If they train together, both will be able to gauge each other’s weaknesses and also how fit the other is, what each is working on, what difficulties they are facing.
“It is similar to how Saina had left the academy and trained under Vimal Kumar and then she again came back to the Gopichand academy after three years,” he added.
Gopichand has two training academies which are at a distance of half a kilometre. The singles players have been training at the new academy ever since it was opened, and when Saina had returned back to Gopichand’s academy she trained at the same venue along with Sindhu.
The report added that many feel that Sindhu’s rise had led to Saina’s exit from the Gopichand academy in September 2014. After spending three years under Vimal Kumar, a stint in which Saina rose to the world No 1 ranking, she returned to the Gopichand academy.