Coronavirus outbreak: Indian badminton goes online amid lockdown
National Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand gave tips to Indian shuttlers in an online program in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. With the closure of badminton courts due to the nationwide lockdown of 21 days, Gopichand shared a series of videos for the athletes. According to him, the generic program includes the athletes who are expected to take part in Tokyo Games. Here is more.
"We can only do fitness because nobody has access to courts so we are doing what we can. I am sending the players videos of what to do in our whatsapp group. It caters to the people (Olympic bound) who are important," Gopichand told PTI.
Besides Gopichand, Dinaz Vervatwala is also hosting fitness classes for the Indian shuttlers via Zoom app. Jamshedpur-born trainer has also worked with London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal in the past. The men's doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is a part of the group. "Gopi sir sends us program schedule everyday. It involves mainly meditation, and wall practice," Chirag said.
Satwik stated that Gopichand's program is a combination of wall practice, skipping and breathing exercises in order to stay focused. He also revealed that the likes of Sikki Reddy, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sai Praneeth, Gurusai Dutt, Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy show their presence. "Every alternate day, we also have Dinaz taking our fitness classes. She gives us very interesting fitness programs," Satwik said.
The BWF had suspended all World Tour events following the All England Championships, owing to coronavirus outburst. However, Gopichand made it clear that the players will get six weeks to prepare before the tournaments resume. "We don't know when badminton will start, but whenever it starts, they will give 6-8 weeks of headstart," Gopichand reiterated. He added, "At the moment, health is more important."