PV Sindhu on her England trip, ‘retiring’ and the path ahead

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PV Sindhu said ‘Denmark Open was the last straw’. (Source: File)

PV Sindhu, who is now preparing for the Asian leg of the BWF tour in January next year in London, revealed the different techniques, game-play, and training sessions she’s using to help her get back on track after the long break from tournaments forced by the pandemic.

The Olympic medalist, who etched her name in the history books by clinching a gold medal at the BWF World Championships last year, said that she trained at home during the lockdown to stay fit and keep up her stamina.

“Lockdown has affected not only me but everyone with training and travelling. The lockdown put a stop on everything but I myself was training at home. My trainer used to give me a schedule so it really didn’t affect my stamina as I managed to keep it up,” Sindhu told Media.

“I couldn’t play badminton but when everything started, within two weeks I was back on the court and came back to my normal. It really didn’t affect any of my training,” she said.

Presently focusing on nutrition and recovery at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in London, Sindhu said it was “a good time” for her.

“This is a long process that I have been working for the last four years. GSSI and I have been working on many aspects such as nutrition and recovery. It has been helping me immensely,” she said.

“Earlier, it was always on a short-term basis when I was visiting London but this is the first time I have had an opportunity to come and work on a long-term basis. It’s regarding maintaining my nutrition levels… it has been a really good time for me.,” she said.

Sharing her experience of training with the English shuttlers, she said, “I have been training here with the English players and that has given me a good aspect. There are good players here and different hitting partners. It just depends on individuals and playing sessions, how it is, and what needs to be exactly done. Every individual player has a different technique, game-play, and training sessions.”

Sindhu’s ‘I RETIRE’ post on Twitter created ripples on social media, especially for those who did not read the entire three-page post. While the attention-grabbing headline gave an impression she was pulling down the curtains on her career, Sindhu was shedding light on the sense of uncertainty that the Covid-19 has brought on.

“The whole line was ‘I retire’ from negativity and the uncertainty caused by Covid-19. It was completely focused on bringing everyone’s attention to what we are dealing with currently and what is the best way to move forward. That was the whole motto behind this. I just wanted people to read the whole thing and understand. Once they did, they realised what I was aiming to do,” she said.

The post prompted Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to claim he got a mini heart-attack and some news outlets to prematurely announced her retirement from the sport. It also started trending on Twitter.

“I know I have given a shock to many people but then I cleared to them to read the whole post. I have always been talking about hygiene and how we need to be careful. We have to take care of ourselves,” said the 25-year-old.

The post was in reference to her association with Hindustan Unilever’s new range of products in the hygiene segment, ‘Nature Protect’ offering germ protection. “These products are something that I need and use for daily purposes from on-the-go germ spray to the wipes. So, I think this is very useful and helps me especially when I travel and keep going to different places,” she said.

Sindhu’s 2016 silver success had a strict, disciplined approach behind it. Sindhu was not allowed to use her phone for three months with coach Pullela Gopichand helping her concentrate on training and practice sessions.

Wondering how it is going to be the next year, the shuttler from Hyderabad said, “After the Olympics, there were a lot of appreciation and congratulatory messages. Everything happening then was good for me. That time I thought I didn’t use my phone and got a medal at the Olympics. Let’s see how it goes this time.”

“Before that, I have a few competitions coming up so just focusing on that. I’m looking forward to the Olympics because the ultimate goal is to get a medal in Tokyo. Each tournament is very important for every one of us,” she added.

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