Monday, Sep 23, 2019 | Last Update : 02:22 PM IST

Hartono backs Sindhu to win gold in 2020 Olympics

THE ASIAN AGE. | C. SANTHOSH KUMAR
Published : Nov 24, 2018, 1:02 am IST
Updated : Nov 24, 2018, 1:02 am IST

Since 2016, Sindhu has lost nine major finals including defeats at Rio Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.

Badminton legend Rudy Hartono with the trainees of the Hatsun Badminton Academy in Thiruthangal, a small town in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu.
 Badminton legend Rudy Hartono with the trainees of the Hatsun Badminton Academy in Thiruthangal, a small town in Virudhunagar district in Tamil Nadu.

Virudhunagar (TN): Badminton legend Rudy Hartono on Friday backed P. V. Sindhu to win a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games as the former world champion from Indonesia believes the star Indian shuttler would be in her prime in Tokyo.  

“Sindhu is only 23. In another two years, she will be in her prime. I feel she will go all the way in Tokyo. Sindhu can achieve a lot more, hopefully it will happen in the coming years. For that, she should forget the past (her defeat at the hands of Carolina Marin) and move on. I would like the Indian players to prioritise and prepare for the big tournaments like All England, World Championships and the Olympics. Those are the events that really matter,” said Hartono who was here on a three-day visit to coach the trainees of Hatsun Badminton Academy.  

Since 2016, Sindhu has lost nine major finals including defeats at Rio Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Hartono said Sindhu has to do honest introspection about her game. “Sindhu attacks too much. When you do the same thing over and over again, your opponent will start reading your game. As a coach, I would like my players to tell the truth about what went wrong in a match and express how eager they are to overcome that situation. These things (losing big matches) happen. I myself have experienced it. If you have the desire, you can overcome it,” added the 69-year-old.

Hartono said carrying the hopes of billions sometimes weighs one down. “India depends a lot on a couple of players (Sindhu as well as Saina Nehwal). They carry so much burden when they go into tournaments. Why not have a few more players? China has a world class player in every category. The population here is huge and India is capable of producing more players at the highest level,” added Hartono.

Eight-time winner of the prestigious All England title, Hartono firmly believes that his record is safe for now. Chinese star Lin Dan has six All England crowns, but he is already 35.

“He is getting slower. Sure, Lin Dan has experience, but even I have experience. It does not mean I can go out and play now and win. And if the likes of Lin Dan continue to win at his age, it will not reflect well on the standard of badminton,” he said.

Badminton made it to the Olympics in 1992, but it is yet to become a global sport with only countries from South East Asia dominating the major events. In the current world top 50, players from Europe, America and Africa are few and far between. “I think badminton is slowly transforming. It has become easy to play. There was a proposal from the badminton world body to make it a 11-point game. It would a made the game a lot faster and brought more fans to the game. But the proposal was shot down. We need some changes to make it entertaining,” he added.

Tags: p. v. sindhu, rudy hartono