London stint: PV Sindhu denies rift with family, Gopi
When Sindhu, 25, announced on Monday that she is in England for a few weeks for recovery and assistance in nutrition, it whipped up a controversy on social media.Updated: Oct 21, 2020, 10:43 IST
PV Sindhu has temporarily shifted her training base to England but the 2019 badminton world champion denied on Tuesday it was due to poor attention at the national camp or rift with her family in Hyderabad.
When Sindhu, 25, announced on Monday that she is in England for a few weeks for recovery and assistance in nutrition, it whipped up a controversy on social media.
Some media reports on Tuesday suggested the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist quit the ongoing camp in Hyderabad and flew to London due to a rift with chief national coach Pullela Gopichand and tension with her family. All those involved have denied the reports.
“I came to London a few days back to work on my nutrition and recovery needs with GSSI. Infact I have come here with the consent of my parents and absolutely they were no family rifts in this regard,” Sindhu tweeted on Tuesday.
“Why will I have problems/issues with my parents who have sacrificed their lives for my sake. Mine is a very close knitted family and they will always support me. I am in touch with my family members everyday,” she said in the tweet.
Sindhu will be based in London for six weeks to work with Rebecca Randell, specialist in sports nutrition, exercise metabolism and supplements at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI). She tweeted a photo with Randell on Monday saying she is focused on nutrition and recovery before resuming full training for the Asia tour three months later.
“She is the brand ambassador for Gatorade. They have been calling her for the past two years. Earlier, Sindhu couldn’t find time, now because there are no tournaments she informed Badminton Association of India (BAI) and left,” the player’s father PV Ramana said from Hyderabad.
Sindhu has been working with Randell and GSSI for three years, consulting them every time she goes to play the All England Open. She also credited the institute in media interviews after becoming world champion last year. “They wanted to work with her for a longer stretch, and unlike other institutes, GSSI people even fly down (to Hyderabad) rather than ask her to come,” said a person privy to the information, on condition of anonymity.
During her stay, Sindhu will also train with the England team and has taken permission from BAI. She will rejoin the SAI-Gopichand academy on return, both Gopichand and Ramana confirmed.
When the camp for Olympic probables was halted in August due to a couple of Covid-19 cases, Ramana wanted Sindhu to train under Korean coach Park Tae-sang at a separate facility. “Gopi being the national coach cannot focus on Sindhu alone, we’ll request to have Sindhu’s sessions with Park at Suchitra Academy,” the former India volleyball player had said then.
On Tuesday he told PTI Sindhu left for London because she didn’t get proper attention in Hyderabad. “After the 2018 Asian Games, Gopi didn’t take interest in her training. He didn’t provide a proper practice partner to train with her,” he said.
Sindhu denied that was the case. “I do not have any issues with my coach Mr Gopichand or the training facilities at the academy,” she tweeted on Tuesday.
Asked about the rumoured rift with Sindhu, Gopichand said: “It is not something I am privy to. All I know is she has gone to London for about eight weeks. They (Gatorade) are her sponsor and she has gone to sort something out from a nutritional perspective.”
The postponed Asia leg of BWF World Tour comprising the Asia Open I, Asia Open II and World Tour Finals will be held from January 12 to 31 in Bangkok. They will be Sindhu’s first tournaments since her quarter-final exit at the All England Open in March.