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Saina Nehwal returns to Gopichand’s Academy; thanks coach Vimal Kumar

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal will once again be training under Pullela Gopichand in his academy in Hyderabad, three years after they had parted ways. In a series of tweets Saina announced that she will once again start working at the Pullela Gopichand Academy and with SAI appointed Indonesian coach Mr Mulyo.

“Hi friends I wanted to share some news with everyone. For a while I’ve been thinking about moving my training base back to the Gopichand academy and I had a discussion about this with Gopi sir and I am really thankful to him for agreeing to help me again. At this stage in my career, I think he can help me achieve my goals,” Saina wrote on Twitter.

Saina Nehwal’s move to Gopichand’s Academy ends her 3-year association with coach Vimal Kumar. Saina had a fruitful stint under Vimal Kumar. He helped her reach number 1 ranking in the world. He also helped her win two world championships medal, a silver in 2015 and a bronze in 2017 along with many Super Series and Grand Prix titles.

“I’m also very thankful to Vimal sir for helping me for the last three years…….I’m very happy to be back home and train in Hyderabad…keep supporting friends,” Saina further twitted.

Saina had shifted base to Bangalore in 2014 to join Vimal Kumar after expressing need for more attention and desire to get back to the top. At that time she had said, “I wanted to train under Vimal sir ahead of the Asian Games as his advice helped me during the Uber Cup. Asian Games is a big tournament and I feel he can help me.”

On Saina’s decision Vimal Kumar said, “Saina on her return from the World Badminton Championships, asked my opinion on her working with the Indonesian coach, Mr Mulyo, brought in by Sports Authority of India. He is attached with Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad. I had indicated to her that there is no harm at all in her giving it a try.”

It is under Gopichand that Saina became the first Indian shuttler to win a medal at the Olympics. But during the last three years, she had maintained a distance from Gopichand. According to sources, it was during the recently concluded World Championships in Glasgow that Saina started interacting regularly with Gopichand and seemed to have buried the hatchet.

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