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Saina Nehwal and Pullela Gopichand back working together

Saina Nehwal Pulela Gopichand
Saina Nehwal will train with Pulela Gopichand at his academy in Hyderabad

What's the story?

Two of India's biggest names in Indian Badminton, Saina Nehwal and Pulela Gopichand are back working together. Saina, India's first ever Olympic medalist in the sports of Badminton garnered a bronze medal in the 2012 London under the tutelage of the former All-England champion.

Saina, however, got disillusioned with her training in 2014 and opted to work under one of the chief coaches of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Vimal Kumar.

"The training which I got [under Gopichand] was not up to the mark. We discussed on my game but whatever we applied on the court did not work out for me. My game required something different, something else," Saina had told the Press Trust of India in an interview in 2015.

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Gopichand meanwhile has gone on to shape the careers of India's latest badge of Badminton. The likes of PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth - who had been training under him has brought India many laurels in recent years.

The heart of the matter

His work seems to have impressed Saina as well, who is now looking forward to again working with her former coach in Hyderabad. The former World Number one will be staying in Hyderabad for the moment and working with Gopichand at his academy.

The Rio Olympics had turned out to be a disaster for Saina after she failed to overcome extreme pain in her knees and crashed out in the group stages. Since then, the ace shuttler has gone on to make a successful return to the court after having surgery on the ailing knee.

Saina last month finished with a bronze in the World Championship after losing to eventual champion Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in a gruelling semi-final after 110 minutes of action.

What's next?

It was widely reported that the duo was not even talking during the period after the split and it was only in Wales - at the World Championship that they had begun communicating again.

And that seems to have bore fruit as the duo will again resume working with each other.

Author's take

Whilst every Indian sports enthusiast will be excited by the news of these two colossal figures back working, one shouldn't forget the work that Vimal Kumar has put in to bring Saina back into contention after the nasty injury.

This will also be a huge task for Gopichand as he already has a lot on his plate and had to bring in the talented Hondoyo earlier to help him with his duties. With both Saina and Sindhu now vying for attention with the intent of making it to the top of the Women's badminton circuit, we can only hope that this competition amongst the Indian greats brings more success to India.

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Edited by Souvik Roy Chowdhury
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