P.V. Sindhu has not allowed the income from sporting success, via brand endorsements and tournament prize money, to distract her from the pursuit of winning bigger competitions, according to Uday Pawar, ex-India doubles specialist and chief coach at a Mumbai-based academy.
The 24-year-old dismantled accomplished rivals at the 2019 World badminton championships. It came days after being named as the 13th ranked sporting achiever in Forbes’ list of world’s highest earners among women — $5.5 million including endorsements, prize money, salaries, bonuses, and appearance fees. Her brand value is now set to increase.
Pawar said: “One can easily get side-tracked by the perks of success, hence staying grounded is the only way forward. Sindhu has been a leading earner among Indian sportspersons, but is not affected by the wealth. This has been the key to her consistency and success.
“Merely having talent and skill is not enough to achieve success. It has to be combined with sustained hard work and discipline. With every win comes recognition, rewards and awards, but the focus on the process of training should remain and the same hunger for achieving bigger goals needs to be maintained,” he added.
Asked about Indians’ performances in doubles, Pawar, founder of the Uday Pawar Badminton Academy, said: “The key to performing well in doubles is to have the right partner over a period of time. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Reddy are combining well and can reach the top (in men’s doubles), if both remain fit and continue playing together. Their understanding will improve with time.”
The Chirag-Satwik duo pulled out of the World championships citing injury to the latter. Satwik was also paired with Ashwini Ponnappa in mixed doubles and India gave a walkover due to the former’s absence.
Shlok Ramachandran (men’s doubles) and Sanjana Santosh (women’s doubles), who had qualified for the World Championships, had trained at the UPBA under Pawar, before graduating to the senior ranks and later getting called to the national camp in Hyderabad. Chirag Shetty also took the same path and was paired with Satwiksairaj by the doubles coach.
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