Bengaluru: The four-time All England champion Morten Frost Hansen of Denmark was confident that he could help few youngsters in India to become top badminton players.
Frost, who will be working with the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) as a consultant coach, has singled out the talents of Ashmita Chaliha and Lakshya Sen as those who caught his eye during the recent India Nationals in Guwahati.
“There was a girl, from Guwahati, her name was Ashmita and I know she is very young, very raw, hasn’t had any opportunity, hardly. But I still think she had a good game, she had really nice shots and good movement on the court. I feel that with her being given an opportunity to start playing international badminton, you never know what can happen.”
On the men’s side, Lakshya, who made the senior national final last week, was the “best prospect” for India according to Frost.
“He is a fairly complete player he can play all avenues, but he is still too inconsistent, he is still 17 years old.”
India’s badminton legend who was also the founder for PPBA – Prakash Padukone, agreed that Frost has a special instinct of identifying young players.
“He has strong sense of identifying talented young players,” said Padukone.
“I remember him telling us ten years back about Viktor Axelsen. He has that knack and also in giving them the right inputs. I am very sure that we will benefit from his immense experience.”
Meanwhile, Frost was hoping he could try his best in creating the next generation of Indian shuttlers.
“The big breakthrough in Indian men’s singles was through Kashyap. He was the first one to make himself notice. Saina came as well in women’s singles and became good role model and that had a great influence on what happened in last 10 years,” said Frost.
“Hopefully, I can make a little difference,” he said. “The toughest thing for any sportsperson is the transition from junior status to senior. It is about self-confidence and belief. It’s also about picking up pace. There is a massive difference. What you can get away with in juniors you get punished in the seniors. With the experience I have, hopefully I can help some of the players here be world-beaters one day.”