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  Sports   In Other sports  26 Oct 2017  A school of victories

A school of victories

THE ASIAN AGE. | SASHIDHAR ADIVI
Published : Oct 26, 2017, 7:15 am IST
Updated : Oct 26, 2017, 7:15 am IST

Notably, this is Srikanth’s third series win, including the Indonesia Super Series, this year.

Srikanth Kidambi says that coach Pullela Gopichand has been his pillar of support throughout his journey. (Photo: AFP)
 Srikanth Kidambi says that coach Pullela Gopichand has been his pillar of support throughout his journey. (Photo: AFP)

With Srikanth Kidambi’s victory in the Denmark Open Superseries Premier, the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy has added another feather in its cap.

It looks like the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy has made winning a habit. The academy has been churning out successful international players one after another. After the likes of Saina Nehwal, P. V. Sindhu and Sai Praneeth, Srikanth Kidambi’s victory in the Denmark Open Superseries Premier on Sunday, is a classic illustration of the academy’s excellence and seriousness when it comes to training players.

Talking about his victory, Srikanth shares, “Winning is always a great feeling. I am in good rhythm with my body and the shots seem to be flowing naturally. Also, winning my earlier tournaments helped boost my confidence. My approach to the game is a lot more positive and aggressive.”

Saina Nehwal is all smiles as she shows her bronze medal in this selfie taken with Gopi at the recent World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.Saina Nehwal

Notably, this is Srikanth’s third series win, including the Indonesia Super Series, this year. He says, “Yeah, it’s been a great year and I ascribe the transformation to training hard and an attitudinal change in the academy. When you start winning matches, the success gives you crazy confidence. It also makes you think differently in order to outsmart your opponent.”

So who does Srikanth credit this win to? “Gopichand sir! He’s been a pillar of support throughout the journey. He keeps motivating us constantly which keeps us going to achieve better heights.”

GP

Naturally, their badminton camp is overjoyed. Anil Kumar, one of the coaches at the academy, says that the key to the players’ success is their training schedules and the discipline Gopichand has inculcated in them. “We have world-class training schedules prepared by Muliyando (National Camp Foreign Coach). The contributions of Haryawan, Rifan and Sapto and Bagos are all great as they constantly help the players with their training schedules. Also, Gopi sir personally assesses each player and discusses their strengths and weaknesses. So the review mechanism is also very strong,” mentions Anil.

P.V. Sindhu reacts in the World Championships final against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow on Sunday. Sindhu lost 19-21, 22-20, 20-22. (Photo: AFP)P.V. Sindhu

Commenting about the in-house competition, he adds, “The players train very hard and during the training, they know that they have to play with each other somewhere in the tournament. But the best part about them is that they enjoy each other’s successes. The players compete like professionals do on the court and bond like friends off the court. So the camaraderie they exhibit is heartening.”

Another coach at the academy, Rajendra, feels that the players’ motivational programme, which is a part of their training, is a crucial factor. “It is a great feeling to see different players winning various tournaments. With international games, the players are getting exposed to global standards. Sometimes players also get lethargic due to extensive travelling and long practise hours. But the key is to remain focussed on the game. And motivational programmes like one-to-one sessions, team meetings, etc, help them stay on top of their game,” he mentions.

The Hierarchy
Pullela Gopichand (National Coach, Mentor)
Muliyando (National Camp Foreign Coach)
Amrish (National Camp Coach)
Anil Kumar (Coach)
Rajendra Kumar (Head Coach)
Haryawan, Rifan, Sapto and Bagos (Feeding)

Tags: srikanth kidambi, pullela gopichand, saina nehwal