Former Indian badminton doubles coach Mathias Boe has been re-hired in a bid to strengthen India's Commonwealth and Asian Games preparations.
The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) approved a financial assistance of ₹7 lakh per month to re-hire Boe until the culmination of the Asian Games. He will work with the men's doubles pair of Satwiksai Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as well as other members of the doubles team.
Apart from Boe's appointment, the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) also approved key proposals from the Badminton Association of India (BAI). These will assist in the participation of shuttlers at the Asian Championships, set to commence on April 26 in Manila.
Support has been extended to Aakarshi Kashyap, the doubles pair of Ashwini Bhat and Shikha Gautam and the mixed doubles pair of Tanisha Crasto and Ishaan Bhatnagar. Men's doubles players Vishnuvardhan Goud P and Krishna Prasad as well as Arjun M R and Dhruv Kapila will also be beneficiaries of this assistance.
Rookie badminton player Aakarshi looking forward to CWG, Asian Games
Aakarshi Kashyap, ranked 52 in the world, is one of the most interesting inclusions within the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games squad.
Aakarshi said she is happy to have been selected in the squad for both tournaments:
"I'm grateful to God that this has been possible (being named in the Commonwealth and Asian Games teams). It is entirely because of the support from my team and the coaching staff."
A tough outing beckons Aakarshi in the upcoming Asian Badminton Championships. The rookie Indian will lock horns with Akane Yamaguchi in the first round. She said about the same:
"I am very thankful to TOPS because they accepted my request for assistance at the last minute. I have a tough draw there as I'm playing Akane Yamaguchi in the first round who recently won the All England Open 2022. I'll try my best but the more matches I play, the more exposure I get and it all helps for the bigger cause."
Aakarshi has less time to prepare for the big-ticket events but the young badminton player feels she has enough exposure on the international stage to win a medal for India.
"I feel proud to have played so many tournaments on the international circuit and I have the much-needed exposure. I really feel I can get a medal for India from the Commonwealth Games and I'm also looking forward to giving my best at the Asian Games," she added.
The TOPS also accepted a request from Olympic double medalist PV Sindhu to provide assistance to coach Vidhi Chaudhary. Chaudhary will accompany the player at the Asian Championship in the Philippines.
She will coach Sindhu in the absence of Park Tae Sang, who is on annual leave. Chaudhary is an NIS qualified coach who is training Sindhu at the Suchitra Academy in Hyderabad.