3. Vimal Kumar
Former Indian badminton player Vimal Kumar has successfully transitioned into a coaching role. Kumar has played a pivotal role, first in nurturing youngsters improve their game at the Prakash Padukone Academy and in helping senior Indian players live up to their potential on the international stage.
Former National champion took charge as Saina's coach after the latter split with her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand. The shift from Hyderabad to Bangalore (Prakash Padukone badminton academy) has had a positive impact on her game.
“By coming here, she felt mentally free and the change in environment gave a fresh impetus and outlook", says Kumar.
Under Kumar, Saina won the Indian Open Grand Prix gold, became the first Indian woman to reach the final of the All England Open championships, won the India Open for the first time in her career. This win catapulted her to the top of the badminton rankings.
Most recently, Sania became the first Indian shuttler to win a World Championships silver at Jakarta. Kumar has certainly brought a big change to her game and that is evident frome her performances this year.
The coach feels that consistency and fitness will be key for her success in the future.
2. Jagdish Singh
The man who converted Bhiwani into a boxing powerhouse, Jagdish Singh is another athlete who transitioned brilliantly from a player to coach.
To continue his love for boxing, Singh founded the Bhiwani boxing club in 2001 with a loan of Rs. 4 lakh. Hundreds of boxers have trained at the academy ever since winning several medals at international events.
Thanks to overwhelming success over the years, Bhiwani is called the 'Cuba of India'. Akhil Kumar, Jitender Kumar and Vijender Singh are alumni of the Bhiwani boxing club. All of them have represented India with some distinction with Vijender becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the Olympic games (bronze at Beijing 2008).
1. Satpal Singh
Sushil Kumar is the only Indian athlete to have won two Olympic medals so far. One of the primary reasons for his success if the guiding light of coach Satpal Singh.
Singh was an accomplished wrestler in the 70's and early 80's. He won gold in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games after settling for silver in the previous edition at Bangkok.
Sushil Kumar learnt the tricks of the trade from Satpal that helped him win bronze in the Beijing Olympics. Kumar followed it up with a silver at the London games.
Satpal has been honoured with Arjuna award (1974), Padma Shri (1983), Dronacharya award (2009) and Padma Bhushan (2015).