Sports Hour

Gopichand training Saina, Sindhu at separate venues

The undoubted crown jewels of Indian badminton, Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have made the country proud time and again by bringing laurels from international events home. However, the two have fallen victims to a stiff rivalry owing to the individualistic nature of the sport.

Pullela Gopichand, former shuttler and current coach of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, has remained a crucial factor between the two ace shuttlers. Nehwal and Sindhu both have tasted enormous success under the tutelage of the former All England champion, winning Super Series titles, Commonwealth Games medals and Olympic medals.

The equation between the trio has changed since the Commonwelath Games 2018 Badminton Singles Final between Sindhu and Nehwal. The two ladies have been sharing mutual discomfort around each other since the gold medal match, which Saina won. Gopichand now coaches them at two separate academies.

“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. I have no problem. Everything is going well and the players are also doing quite well,” Gopichand said.

While most people speculate a cold war brewing among the two ace shuttlers, the Badminton Goddesses have denied the existence of any bitterness. PV Sindhu, upon her return from Gold Coast post Commonwealth Games had said, “The rivalry is always there but I think it is very good for the sport, and when it comes to on court rivalry, only one can win. So I want to win for myself and she wants to win for herself. Off court, we are just normal people. We have different schedules (training).”

“Gopi sir has played a very important role in everybody’s career, the dedication and the way he is focused, he is there training from morning to evening. He has sacrificed so many things for us,” Sindhu had said.

Whatever the case may be, we wish both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu all the best for their respective careers. May the two continue showering medals in the international sporting events to come.

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