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Padukone to mentor Saina for Asian Games

Posted on Sep 02 2014 | IANS

Bangalore, Sep 2 : The Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy Tuesday clarified that Saina Nehwal will be training at the academy for two weeks purely as part of her preparations for the Asian Games to be held in Incheon, South Korea later this month.

The PPBA, in a press release here, tacitly rejected the reported "split" between Saina and her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand as a reason for the badminton ace to train under former national coach Vimal Kumar who is attached to the PPBA run by former All-England champion and World No.1 Prakash Padukone.

"This is to inform all Indian badminton fans that after discussion with national badminton coach, Gopichand and Saina, it has been decided that Saina will train with Vimal at Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore for two weeks as part of her training for the Asian Games" a statement by the PPBA said.

"The presence of former World No.1 Prakash Padukone, who will play the role of a mentor, is bound to benefit Saina."

"The Indian badminton fans would be well aware that over the years the hard work put in by Gopichand and Saina is responsible for her reaching the highest level of world badminton."

"The proposed two-week stint in Bangalore is a continuation of the same process so that Saina can succeed at the highest level and continue to bring laurels for India, said

"PPBA is one of the recognized BAI centres and it is always keen to make its contribution in enhancing the performance of the Indian players at the World level."

A section of the media had reported that Saina, who is going through a lean patch and Gopichand had parted ways and hence the 24-year old former world No.2 and currently No.7 had decided to move from Hyderabad to Bangalore.

On her arrival here Tuesday, Saina categorically stated that Gopichand was still her coach and that her move to Bangalore was merely a change which will also help her prepare for the Asian Games.

"Gopi sir, myself and Vimal sir had discussions and after that, I decided to come to Bangalore for training for two weeks. It will be a change for me and also help my preparations for the Asian Games," said Saina.

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