India’s PV Sindhu lost her third major final in the hands of Carolina Marin in the BWF World championships on Sunday, which brought the debate to the Indian failing to perform in the final showdown. Former India great Prakash Padukone has commented on the same and said Sindhu doesn’t have any mental pressure in major finals and urged the media not put her under pressure by headlining her defeats.
Sindhu should aim for gold next time- Padukone
“It is quite creditable that she reached the final again. The competition is very tough. She should aim for the gold next time. She beat two Japanese players (Okuhara and Yamaguchi) against whom she normally loses. Unfortunate that she could not do the same in the final,” said Padukone on the sidelines of PNB Metlife Junior Badminton Championship.
Padukone, the former All England champion opinioned that there is no mental pressure on Sindhu playing in the major finals and she is allready one of the greatest players from India. He said that Sindhu is still young and she will definitely win the world championships in near future.
We should not discuss why she is loosing- Padukone
“We should not put too much pressure on her when she is doing well. She is world number three. The focus should be on how we can make her win rather than why she is losing the final again and again. If we keep doing that, she would only feel more pressure.”
Gopichand needs some assistance
India’s head coach Pullela Gopichand has taken Indian badminton forward and produced some of the top players like Kidmabi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. But Prakash Padukone feels time has come that an overburdened Gopichand gets some assistance.
“Gopi is doing a good job. He needs somebody with him to assist him. There are so many good players. For one coach to take care of so many players, it would be difficult,” said Padukone, who is also the father of bollywood actress Deepika Padukone.
On Saina Nehwal’s performance
Padukone feels Saina needs to be a little consistent and manage her schedule in a better way. Saina lost to the eventual winner of the tournament Carolina Marin in the quarter final of recently concluded world championships.
About the challenge in Asian Games
2018 badminton calendar has been a packed one and the focus now shifts to the Asian Games, where the Indian shuttlers will face the likes of China, Japan and South Korea. Padukone feels Asian Games challenge will be a tough battle for Indian shuttlers.
“It (Asian Games) is so close to the World Championships. It is difficult for players to peak at two important back-to-back events. The schedule is tough anyway. Players have to pick and choose, there is no other way (to manage workload). In a way,it is good that more sponsors are showing interest in the sport. Both stakeholders (sponsors and BWF) need to sit together and sort it out.”
Comparison with the Asian forces like China and Japan
“I think they have already conquered (the Asian wall). Just that we are not able to put it across in important events. Most of the leading India players have beaten most of the world’s top players in some tournament or the other. We just need to click in important events. Last five years, we have been at the top. We are no less than China, Japan or Korea.”
Talking about India’s doubles challenge
“We are improving steadily (in doubles) but talent is more in the singles. Now one or two players are doing well in paired events. We did not even have that two years ago. It takes time. We need more Centres of Excellence apart from the one in Hyderabad,” said Padukone.
He said he was impressed by young shuttler Lakshya Sen, who recently won the Badminton Asia Junior Championship.