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Skill-wise, Indian shuttlers don't rank in world top four: Japan national badminton Coach

Five time World Champion Park Joo-Bong guided Japan to double singles victory at the Dubai series final last year.

Park was critical about Sindhu’s court coverage

Japanese national badminton team Coach, and five time World Champion Park Joo-Bong has been critical of Indian shuttlers at the ongoing Asian Badminton team Championship. The former Olympic champion specifically spoke about the playing styles of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu today.

He said, “In terms of skill, Chinese women’s players are still the best in the world. Someone like Li Xuerui and Wang Yihan are right up there for me. If we compare them to Saina and PV Sindhu, the don’t rank in the top four skillwise. Sindhu’s major problem is inconsistency, when she is on song, she is one of the best players in the world. However, the problem lies in court coverage.”

Park also spoke about Japan’s chances in this year’s Olympics. He added, “For close to a decade, Japanese badminton has been in a period of transition. But, 2012 was a landmark event for us, because we won a medal there. Now, I think we have strong contenders in both Men’s and Women’s singles. The Dubai Super Series also highlighted our growth. Now we are one of the best in the world and I hope we keep moving in the right direction.”

Park, who took over as Japan Coach in 2004 has credited the growth of Indian badminton to Pullela Gopichan. He said, “There are no two ways about it, if Gopichand wasn’t there, Indian badminton wouldn’t reach the stage it is at now. He has also sacrificed a lot for the game, and he has also managed to install a good system. This is something that was required.

Japan had a strong ending to 2015, after winning both singles title at the Dubai finals. Kento Momota won the Men’s Singles event, whereas Nozomi Okuhara won the women’s event.

Speaking about the Olympics, he said, “In Dubai, we weren’t looking or targeting a medal, we were looking to give our best and that’s what we are going to do at the Olympics. We have a training regime before that, and it all depends on our execution.”

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