Hyderabad: “Finally back to the training centre after a very long time, good feeling,’’ tweeted B Sai Praneeth, the World Championship bronze medallist, after his first practice session at the SAI-Pullela Gopichand badminton Academy in Gachibowli on Friday morning.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) had informed on Thursday that Olympic hopefuls, all foreign coaches and sparring partners had been given the green signal to commence training at the academy. The camp resumed on Friday, after a long lay-off of nearly five months ever since the lockdown was declared in March.
Praneeth practiced with a sparring partner as the newly appointed coach Agus Dwi Santoso watched the Indian shuttler from a close angle. Santoso for the first time interacted with the players after taking charge in March. With the lockdown declared in March, Santoso did not have the opportunity to train the Indians.
“It is always a nice feeling to be on the court. I think it will take a few days before I get into my rhythm,’’ said Praneeth.
— Sai Praneeth (@saiprneeth92) August 7, 2020
Earlier, World champion PV Sindhu was the first to arrive at 6 am. She came to the court along with her father PV Ramana. She played for 90 minutes. Korean coach Park Tae Sung was at hand to watch Sindhu play on the court. “I’m happy the way the first day’s session went by. I could hit the shuttle,’’ she said.
Sikki Reddy was the lone doubles player at the academy. “We had to sneak through the back door. There were a lot of restrictions and a lot of sanitisation was done. But I’m happy that I’m on the court,’’ said the doubles specialist.
As a precautionary measure, the media was barred from entering the academy.
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