PV Sindhu – P.Gopichand Split? All is not well between the master and his student. Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu has moved out of Pullela Gopichand’s academy to train at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad. The official reason given by Sindhu’s father is that she has made a move to move out of Gopi’s academy to prepare for psychological firepower with her opponents. But according to information available with InsideSport, things are far from normal between Gopichand and Sindhu.
Though Sindhu’s father PV Ramana, a former international volleyball player denied that there is any disagreement with Gopichand.
“She hasn’t split with Gopichand but wants to train in an ambience that gives her a feel as if she is training in an Olympic arena. The change of venue is with the approval of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and in coordination with the Badminton Association of India (BAI),” Ramana, an Arjuna Award winner, told IANS.
Ramana’s clarification hardly makes any sense as Sindhu trained at the same academy and won an Olympic medal in 2016 and many other accolades throughout her career. Last year, Sindhu dashed off to England for nearly three months, sparking speculation that she had split with Gopichand. She returned to competition for the Thailand Open in January in Bangkok, but she couldn’t progress beyond the quarterfinal stage. Her not-so-encouraging performance in Thailand Open was followed by another disappointing show as she lost at the group stage of the World Tour Finals, also held at the same venue.
Sindhu, 25, hasn’t qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games so far, but is close to securing the berth. In her quest to achieve a podium finish at the Olympics this July-August, she will train under the Korean coach Park Tae Sang from Tuesday. Sang took over the job of training Sindhu after another Korean expert, Kim Ji Hyun, quit in September 2019.
Regarding the sparring partners for Sindhu, Ramana said it would depend on who the Korean expert wants. “He [Sang] will take a call on that issue,” he said. On Sindhu’s current fitness, Ramana said: “Her fitness is okay. She is training in the pool. She is also going to gym twice a week.”
A coach associated with Gopichand Academy recalled how Sindhu prepared for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“She could do 400m repetitions in 60-62 seconds once a week. She did deadlifts and half squats with more than 100kg during the gym workouts. Now, as she isn’t training at Gopichand Academy, we don’t know much about her fitness regimen,” he said.