Meet PV Sindhu's support system that helped her win Olympic bronze in Tokyo

It was a moment of joy at the Suchitra Academy. Pradeep Raju, Praveen Raju, trainer Srikanth Verma and the young badminton players, who had sparred with P.V. Sindhu in the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics, have played an important role behind Sindhu’s bronze medal-winning effort at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Pradeep Raju of Suchitra Academy, P.V. Sindhu and fitness trainer Srikanth Verma during the preparations for Tokyo Olympics at Suchitra Academy in Hyderabad.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

It was a moment of joy at the Suchitra Academy. Pradeep Raju, Praveen Raju, trainer Srikanth Verma and the young badminton players, who had sparred with P.V. Sindhu in the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics, have played an important role in Sindhu’s bronze medal-winning effort at the Tokyo Olympics.  

“Yes, we were definitely disappointed after Sindhu’s loss to Tai Tzu-Ying in the semifinal. But now we’re glad that she pulled off another memorable performance,” said Pradeep, who has been working with Sindhu’s coach Park Tae Sang since February this year.

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“Sindhu has been with us since 2017. When Sindhu started her quest for the Olympic gold after her below-par performances in the three tournaments in Thailand, including the World Super Series final, she wanted to prove a point to herself and the world,” Pradeep told Sportstar. “From the Suchitra Badminton Academy the senior-most strength and conditioning trainer and a physio travelled with Sindhu,” Pradeep said. “We have given inputs to the strength and conditioning team, and she is now faster and leaner.”

 

“She had match simulations where she played from positions like 16-0, 17-20, 18-20. If you see this helped her against Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinal in the first game,” Pradeep said.

“We ran video analysis on her game and all her possible opponents to ensure she understands and adapt very easily to every style of play,” Pradeep said.

“Despite pandemic throwing the tournament structure haywire, it worked in Sindhu’s because it gave her enough time to learn new strokes like slow drop and the half-smashes,” he said.

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