HYDERABAD: There can’t be two swords in a sheath, goes the saying. That’s quite the issue confronting National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand as he grapples with the task of training Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu at different venues.
TOI has learnt that the coach has been training Sindhu and Saina at separate academies over the last few days as they are no longer comfortable training together.
Ever since the team came back from CWG after winning a gold + , Gopichand has been training them separately. When asked about the delicate situation, Gopichand said it was a decision taken by the coaching team. “In the interest of the players, our coaching team has taken this decision. I had earlier trained them in separate schedules. We do whatever suits the players best,” Gopichand said.
Under the new arrangement, Gopichand has to divide his time between the two academies. “I have no problem. Everything is going well and the players are also doing quite well,” Gopichand said.Gopichand has two training centres — half a kilometre apart. Ever since the new academy came up a few years back, the singles players have been training there. And when Saina returned to Gopi’s academy last September, both the girls trained at the same venue, but not anymore. People in the know of things are not surprised by the development.
Many are of the opinion that the rise of Sindhu led to Saina’s exit from Gopichand’s Academy in Sept 2014. After a three-year stint with Vimal Kumar where she achieved the world No. 1 rank, Saina returned to Gopi last year. After her return, Saina rediscovered the spring in her step and has even defeated Sindhu. But all singles players practice at the other academy and Sindhu will miss sparring partners. However, her team has no complaints. “We are comfortable with the schedule. Her practice is going well, Gopi is allocating a lot of time for her. What more can we ask for?” said Sindhu’s father PV Ramana.