Sindhu, Praneeth resume coaching after COVID-19 pressured break

New Delhi, August 7

World champion PV Sindhu, together with B Sai Praneeth and N Sikki Reddy, hit the courts for coaching on Friday below strict security protocols on the SAI Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad, ending a four-month-long coronavirus-forced hiatus.

This was after the Sports Authority of India (SAI) determined to renew the nationwide badminton camp for the eight Olympic hopefuls following Telangana Government’s approval on August 1.

“I am very happy to have our elite shuttlers back for on-field training after this long break. We are fully equipped to resume training in a safe environment,” mentioned chief nationwide coach Pullela Gopichand.

The eight Olympic hopefuls additionally embody London bronze-medal winner Saina Nehwal, former world No.1 Srikanth Kidambi, ladies’s doubles participant Ashwini Ponnappa and males’s doubles pairing of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj.

Saina, who is predicated in Hyderabad, did not prepare on Friday, whereas the others, who had gone to their respective properties in March, are but to return to the town.

On Friday, Sindhu was the primary one to coach with Gopi and overseas coach Park Tae-Sang.

“Sindhu trained today from 6:30 am to 8:30 am. Gopi and Park were also present. She will be training every day at the same time this week. In the evening, she will have her fitness training at Suchitra academy for agility and endurance,” mentioned PV Ramana, father of the Rio Olympics silver medallist.

“She has been training at home so physically she is in good shape but there are no tournaments till October, so she can afford to go easy, no point exerting too much. We have to be careful,” he added.

After Sindhu, Praneeth and Sikki additionally educated on the academy from 8:30 to 10:30 am.

“It was good to finally get to train after a long time. I started around 8:30 am. Gopi sir and new coach Agus Dwi Santoso and a couple of feeders were there. All protocols like sanitising, thermal gun and oximeter were in place,” mentioned world No.13 Praneeth.

The Indian shuttlers have been confined to their properties since March when the COVID-19 pandemic halted all sports activities, together with badminton, throughout the globe with even the Tokyo Olympics being pushed to subsequent 12 months.

The Badminton Association of India (BAI) had earlier deliberate to conduct the nationwide camp in Hyderabad from July 1 however did not get a inexperienced gentle from the state authorities.

Sikki mentioned it was tiring to hit the courts after such a protracted break.

“It was a good session but it was tiring also. Everyone was just so happy to resume things. There was just me, coach Namrih Suroto and a couple of Indonesians for sparring. So the idea is to go slow and steady.”

Asked about her ladies’s doubles associate Ashwini, Sikki mentioned: “There is not any level for her to come back now as there isn’t a readability about tournaments and likewise quarantine guidelines.”

“Things will take some time, may be couple of weeks. Let’s see how it goes as even one case will set us back.”

The coaching is being performed in line with the rules of the Ministry of Health and the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) drawn up by the SAI, alongside the state authorities’s rules.

To guarantee security of athletes, the academy has been divided into color zones. Only athletes and coaches will probably be allowed contained in the inexperienced zone, or the sector of play, whereas there are totally different zones earmarked for help workers and administrative workers who can have no entry to the sector of play.

“When we arrived on the academy, it was not our common entrance. There had been totally different zones, so no bodily contact. Even our shuttles are separate, every participant was given two barrels of shuttles to make use of,” mentioned Sikki.

“I am very happy with the arrangements, just hope I get a few more players to train with.”

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) shut down the world tour and different sanctioned tournaments following the completion of the All-England in March because of the world well being disaster.

The governing physique later unveiled a revised worldwide calendar in May however no match has been potential thus far.

The BWF had additionally introduced that rating factors earned at tournaments in the course of the unique qualification section will probably be maintained.

It had earlier frozen the world rankings and made the standings on March 17 the premise for entry and seedings on resumption of the calendar. PTI


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