Bangalore: It is nothing new for top sportspersons to split with their coaches after series of disappointing results. Roger Federer ended his partnership with Paul Annacone on 2013; Andy Murray did recently with Ivan Lendl and now India’s badminton queen Saina Nehwal is going to part ways with long-term coach Pullela Gopichand. Saina, who lost in the quarters of the World Badminton Championships in Denmark last week, has decided to move to Bangalore to work under Vimal Kumar for the upcoming Asian Games, which will kick-start from September 19.
According to Saina’s father, he said: “The split is not because of any differences with Gopichand but for a change.”
Nehwal has been struggling with her form for quite some time now, after she failed to breach the quarter-final barrier for the fifth time in the World Championships, she was forced to think of other coaching options.
However, when interviewed by media, Vimal Kumar has clarified that there was no split between Saina Nehwal and Gopichand as reported.
“There is absolutely no split between Gopichand and Saina. Gopichand and I had a talk and our intention was to bring her in the right mental state and to help her. She has just come for a short stint. It is basically for the Asian Games,” said Kumar.
“It is about mentoring and helping Saina. With Prakash (Padukone) also being here and the different experiences he had in Denmark as world No. 1, him talking to Saina will help her a lot. Also, a change in environment will be good for her,” added Kumar.
Elaborating on the need for a change in environment, Kumar said: “Small change always helps. A player goes through these phases. That way, she just wants to give it a try for 15 days. It was projected in a poor way unnecessarily”