PV Sindhu in action against Mugdha Agrey during India Open 2019, at KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium, in New Delhi.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)
PV Sindhu in action against Mugdha Agrey during India Open 2019, at KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium, in New Delhi.(Mohd Zakir/HT PHOTO)

Sindhu to keep training despite Covid-19 hitting national camp

Sindhu, aiming to go one better than her 2016 Rio Olympics silver, wants to train at the Suchitra Academy where she goes for fitness workouts, while officials decide when to reopen the SAI-Gopichand National Badminton Academy.
NEW DELHI | By Sandip Sikdar
UPDATED ON AUG 15, 2020 08:27 AM IST

World champion PV Sindhu plans to shift on-court training to another academy in Hyderabad for at least a week after the national badminton camp was shut on Thursday due to positive Covid-19 tests of a player and physio, her father said on Friday.

Sindhu, aiming to go one better than her 2016 Rio Olympics silver, wants to train at the Suchitra Academy where she goes for fitness workouts, while officials decide when to reopen the SAI-Gopichand National Badminton Academy.

The official training base was shut for sanitisation on Thursday after doubles specialist N Sikki Reddy and physio C Kiran tested positive. The others at the camp had tested negative on Wednesday.

“For at least the next one week, we’ll not go to Gopichand academy. Today it is a running session, tomorrow weight training and Sunday rest. From Monday, 100 % Sindhu will have fitness sessions alone at Suchitra Academy under trainer Srikanth Verma,” her father PV Ramana said from Hyderabad.

Sindhu will request Badminton Association of India (BAI) and Sports Authority of India to shift her on-court sessions also to where she is doing fitness routines, under India’s Korean coach Park Tae-sang. “Gopi being the national coach cannot focus on Sindhu alone, we’ll request to have Sindhu’s sessions with Park at Suchitra,” Ramana, a former India volleyball player, said.

The academy is accredited under Khelo India—the union government’s flagship grassroots Games.

Olympic probables Reddy, Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth, Saina Nehwal, K Srikanth, Ashwini Ponnappa, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were selected to start training on August 7 after the Telangana government allowed stadiums and academies to reopen.

Sindhu, former men’s world No.1 Srikanth, world championships bronze medallist Sai Praneeth and Reddy were training at the Gopichand academy. Ramana said his daughter has no concerns. “Sindhu never really met any other camper as her training time slot was different. Whoever she interacted with, including the coaches, was from a distance. We used to leave the stadium before the others arrived. She also didn’t gym there.”

Though Sindhu tested negative, the 25-year-old may take another test early next week, added Ramana. World No.13 Sai Praneeth said he’ll get tested again “after four or five days” as a precautionary measure.

An academy official, on condition of anonymity, said Reddy—India’s highest ranked in women’s (world No.28 with Ponnappa) and mixed doubles (No.27 with Pranaav Jerry Chopra)—and Kiran are doing fine.

The national camp was shut in March after the international calendar was suspended. Sindhu, Sai Praneeth and Reddy started training from Day 1 while Srikanth joined on Monday. The 2012 Olympics bronze medallist Nehwal is training with husband Parupalli Kashyap at another centre in Hyderabad to gain court time. Shetty (Mumbai), Ponnappa (Bengaluru) and Rankireddy (Amalapuram) will monitor the situation before deciding to join the camp.

The international circuit is expected to resume with the Thomas and Uber Cup in Aarhus, Denmark, from October 3 to 11.

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