Hyderabad: Chief coach Pullela Gopichand has opted out of the Indian team which will now have a nine-member team, consisting of three coaches and two physios alongside four qualified shuttlers, to the Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier the Badmintion Association (BAI) had proposed a seven-member coaching and support staff to be sent along with the players. However, with strict Covid-19 protocols and an allotted quota of 33% of support staff alone for the number of qualified players, only a 5-member team of coaches and support staff have been allotted to travel with the badminton contingent.
While each of the qualified players had their individual team of trainers and physios as part of their preparations, the approved contingent list comprise of singles coach Park Tae-Sang and Agus Dwi Santosa along with doubles coach Mathias Boe and physios Evangline Baddam and Sumansh Sivalanka to accompanying the Indian players, PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth and men’s doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwik Rankireddy.
“With just one quota available Gopichand decided to opt-out in order to ensure Agus Dwi Santosa could be accommodated who has been training with Sai (Praneeth) since the pandemic”, said BAI General Secretary Ajay Singhania said.
Gopichand was the coach when Saina Nehwal and Sindhu won Olympics medals in 2012 and 2016 respectively.
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