P. Gopi Chand, India’s chief national coach, hopes his wards improve their fitness and stay injury free as they prepare for the upcoming tournaments this season.

Saina Nehwal is the only Indian to win a title this season, having clinched the Indonesia Masters crown. B. Sai Praneeth and K. Srikanth came close to winning titles; while Sai Praneeth finished runner-up at the Spain Masters, Srikanth faltered at the last hurdle at the India Open.

Looking ahead to next month’s tourneys, Gopi Chand said, “I have spoken about [the players’ performances in the year so far] in the last few days. The training is going on. Hopefully, we will be able to improve our fitness and injury worries. Next month, we have tournaments in Indonesia, Japan, Thailand, and hopefully we will have good performances.”

Gopi Chand was speaking on the sidelines of a Bhumi Pooja , or a foundation ceremony, for a new badminton training centre, a sports science centre, and a coach development centre at the Gopi Chand badminton academy here.

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The ceremony was attended by E. S. L. Narasimhan, the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governor; V. Srinivas Goud, the Telangana sports minister; among others.

Air-conditioned courts

The new training centre will have six air-conditioned courts. “Overall, it’s great to have six air-conditioned courts. Because, most international events are held in weather-controlled, air-conditioned courts. So, to actually have them for practice, is something very good,” Gopi Chand said.

The sports science centre would have space for gyms and also dedicated personnel for nutrition, physiology, psychology along with physiotherapy and bio-mechanics, Gopi Chand specified. It will also host facilities for sports research, sport analysis and also video analysis.

“So, we will have this entire set up which is the back support for the players and also coach development which is looking at developing coaches for the future,” he said.