Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu has decided to opt-out of SAI-Pullela Gopichand academy and train with Korean coach Park Tae Sang at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad. followed in the footsteps of London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal. With this move, Sindhu followed the footsteps of Saina Nehwal who too had walked out of the Gopichand academy a few years ago to train under U Vimal Kumar in Bengaluru, but later returned to Hyderabad to train with Gopichand.
The move has been there on the cards for a long since Sindhu left for London to train before she returned to play at the Thailand Open. Former international Sanjay Sharma, the author of the book Pullela Gopichand, said he was mystified that Sindhu to opt-out of the academy."
Sindhu, however, cleared the air over the possible rift with Gopichand. In an interview with Times of India, Sindhu was quoted, “I had requested the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the same and the permission was granted to me. The Gachibowli indoor arena size is of international standards. It’s similar to that of the badminton venue at the Tokyo Olympics and what we generally experience during international tournaments. It’s important to understand the familiarity of the venue and stimulate such conditions at home. Also, the AC blowers are a major factor for ‘drift’ inside the playing venue. Getting used to the drift because of the effect blowers will have on the shuttlecock will help us at the Olympics. Most of the academies in Hyderabad don’t have the blowers, so we miss understanding the drift. Here, at the Gachibowli indoor arena, you can master the drift factor,” she explained.
It was, in fact, on Gopichand's request that the Gachibowli badminton halls were made available for practice to national camp players preparing for the Olympics and qualification tournaments. A letter from the Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS) granting permission for the same to Gopichand was received on February 12.