National coach Pullela Gopichand and star player Saina Nehwal seem to have buried the hatchet. Saina, who started talking to the coach during the World Championships in Glasgow a week back, began training at his academy recently.
Exactly three years after parting ways, national coach Pullela Gopichand and star player Saina Nehwal seem to have buried the hatchet.
Saina, who started talking to the coach during the World Championships in Glasgow a week back, began training at his academy recently .
Saina had left Gopichand’s academy and started training under Vimal Kumar in Bangalore from September 2, 2014. Under Vimal, Saina had a fruitful time as she had surged to the world No.1 spot, won two World Championship medals and also reached the All England final.
During the last three years, Saina had maintained a distance from Gopichand. Though they were not on talking terms, it’s a fact that they have a lot of affection and respect for each other. It is under Gopichand that Saina had won a number of international titles and became the first Indian shuttler to win a medal (bronze) at the Olympics. The duo were responsible for popularising the game in the country.
Incidentally, it is not the first time that Saina had left Pullela Gopichand. A few months after she won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010, Saina preferred to train under Bhaskar Babu. But a few days later she returned to train with Go pichand.
According to sources, Saina wants to stay in Hyderabad but things have changed a lot in the last three years. It could be difficult to fit her in the scheme of things as a number of shuttlers like PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap etc have the personal attention from Gopichand. In such a scenario, giving Saina the much needed attention could be a tough ask on the part of the National coach. But the fact that the former England champion has a special place for Saina may make her comeback a bit easier.
In the next few days, badminton fans may hear the news of this reunion.