Tokyo Olympics: How 20 young shuttlers are helping P.V. Sindhu in her preparation

These boys and girls have been the sparring partners for Sindhu for the last three months at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium.

Korean coach Park Tae Sang, P.V.Sindhu, Pradeep Raju and the young shuttlers who have been helping PV Sindhu Sindhu at Gachibowli Indoor stadium in Hyderabad.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

For the 20-odd shuttlers from the Suchitra Academy, it is a dream come true to be part of Team Sindhu as the world champion is preparing for the next month’s Tokyo Olympics.

These boys and girls, handpicked by the head coach Pradeep Raju at the Suchitra Academy, have been the sparring partners for P.V. Sindhu for the last three months at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium where she has been training under the Sports Authority of India-appointed Korean coach Park Tae Sang.

“I am training on my own under the guidance of Park and with the Suchitra shuttlers as the sparring partners,” said Sindhu.

And, it may look strange that Sindhu is training with these inexperienced but talented boys and girls as most of them have graduated from the juniors to seniors category after being ranked in the top four in their respective age groups.

“Thanks to Pradeep Sir, I am getting the right kind of sparring partners every day and I am enjoying the simulated match conditions being programmed by Park,” Sindhu said.

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To be precise, Pradeep Raju makes it a point to send a different set of two to three players each daily for Sindhu’s training. For instance, if she wants to improve her attack, the best defensive player will be there and if the choice of Sindhu is to focus on defence, the most aggressive young talent will be there.

“We know Sindhu’s requirements pretty well. And, it is not just sparring alone. We do a lot of video analysis also to ensure that the necessary corrections and improvements are made,” says Pradeep.

“Frankly, it is mutually beneficial as these young shuttlers also gain great experience by playing against her,” he added.

20-year-old Abhyansh says it is a lifetime opportunity to train with a world champion and that in the process of helping Sindhu, he is definitely improving his own game. “There is so much to learn even as we help her,” he says.

Importantly, Pradeep says that sending these shuttlers is in sync with the coach Park’s programme and that he is really pleased with the variety of players available to serve the cause.

“Well, the objective of everyone involved in the whole programme is to see Sindhu clinch gold in the Tokyo Olympics,” he signed off.

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