Gopichand confident shuttlers will be match-fit in four weeks

As India's Olympic bound badminton players resumed training in Hyderabad on Friday, chief coach Pullela Gopichand says the shuttlers will be back in shape soon.

Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.   -  V.V. Subrahmanyam

Chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand is confident that his players - who have the experience of performing at the highest level - will reach their desired mental toughness and sharpness within the next four weeks.

Speaking to Sportstar after the first training session for the Olympic probables at SAI-Gopi Chand Academy on Friday, Gopichand said that he is pleased with the fitness level of the players and their movements on the court.

“They have all been working out during the lockdown and have maintained fitness levels pretty well. Yes, there will be that fear factor and I just hope that some sort of negativity or fear doesn’t creep into them,” he said.

READ: Sindhu resumes training at Gopichand academy under safety net

“From the games perspective, I am sure they will be back at their best after a couple of weeks of training. It is only a question of time for them to get the feel of playing matches,” Gopichand said.

However, he agrees that for the doubles players, it can be more challenging because the ‘issue of training together and looking for the desired coordination arises’.

The former All-England champion said Sindhu did have a separate session today and also hinted that Korean coach Park Sae-Tang would take care of her even as he and the other coach Agus Dwi Santoso would work with other players. “I will be definitely monitoring each and every player for sure,” he added.

“We have nine courts at the Academy and by maintaining all social distancing norms, five courts can be used to take care of coaching of each and every Olympic hopeful,” Gopichand said.

“Anyhow, I am going to talk to the players soon to work out a schedule which should benefit one and all and will be within the prescribed SAI safety norms,” he said.

As per the SOP of SAI, the players and others involved in the training will be undergoing COVID-19 tests. “This again will be discussed and decided at mutual convenience,” Gopichand said.

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