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Sindhu trains at PPBA academy for a week to regain form, Vimal says she needs to make technical changes

Olympic medallist P V Sindhu needs to make a few technical changes in her game and is likely to take some time to regain her form, said former India coach Vimal Kumar, who has observed the Indian ace from close quarters during her week-long stint in Bengaluru.

Sindhu has found the going tough ever since returning from a long lay-off following an ankle injury en route to the Commonwealth Games gold last August.

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Desperate to arrest the slide, the 28-year-old, a two-time Olympic medallist, sought the help of the legendary Prakash Padukone and trained under him at the PPBA academy in Bengaluru last week.

“We have been sitting and observing her sessions. Prakash spoke to her and tried to motivate her. We have also interacted with her coach (Muhammad Hafiz Hashim),” Vimal, who is the director of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, told PTI.

“She is at the moment low on confidence and physically and mentally slightly in a poor state. She has some work to do and we shouldn’t expect much from her at the Asian Games.”

“She is a big player and it is important to give her some time, it might take a few months for her to regain her touch. There are a few technical aspects, where she can make some changes. Some initiatives she needs to take in the technical aspect.”

Sindhu, the 2019 world champion, has lost seven times in the first round of BWF tour events this year with a semifinal finish at the Canada Open and two quarterfinals — US Open Super 300 and Australian Open Super 500 — being the highlight so far.

Ahead of the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, Sindhu has pulled out of the China Open Super 1000 and Hong Kong Open Super 500 to focus on the multi-sport event beginning September 23.

She along with her coach Hafiz Hashim then spent the last week training at the PPBA under the former All England champion Padukone.

“The last week has been a good change for her. She had a good experience of learning from Mr Prakash Padukone. He was very kind to be there and watch her practice session,” Sindhu’s father PV Ramana, who had won a bronze medal as part of the Indian Volleyball team in the 1986 Asian Games, said.

“They have been very supportive and has given her great encouragement. It is good to learn from different coaches, everyone has different views and ways. As a player, she might like to go again, every player have their own strategy.”

For world number 14 Sindhu, it is a crucial period in her career with the Olympic qualification period for the 2024 Games having started on May 1.

In February, the player from Hyderabad parted ways with Korean coach Park Tae-Sang, who was instrumental in her winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Sindhu worked with SAI coach Vidhi Chaudhary for sometime before roping in Hafiz ahead of the Olympics.

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