Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu and her coach Park Tae Sang have parted ways, the South Korean confirmed on Friday, taking responsibility of the Indian’s “disappointing moves in all recent matches.” Under Park’s tutelage Sindhu won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympic and the Commonwealth Games gold last year, where she had suffered a stress fracture on her left foot.
After returning to action this year following a five month layoff, Sindhu has struggled to regain her form, making first-round exits at the Malaysia Open and India Open and also looked subdued in the Asia Mixed Team championships in Dubai, losing to lower-ranked Gao Fang Jie and Malaysia’s Wong Ling Ching.
The foreign coach said he felt responsible for Sindhu’s disappointing start to the season and that the Indian asked for a change. “…I’d like to talk about my relationship with pvsindhu1 , which many people have asked about. She has made disappointing moves in all recent matches, and as a coach, I feel responsible,” the coach wrote on his Instagram page. “So she (Sindhu) wanted a change and said she would find a new coach. I decided to respect and follow her decision. I’m sorry that I can’t be with her until the next Olympics, but now I’m going to support her from afar.” Park was earlier appointed by the Badminton Association of India to train the men’s singles players but he began working with Sindhu at the end of 2019. Since taking over the role, Park had guided Sindhu to three BWF World Tour titles in 2022 — the Syed Modi International, Swiss Open and Singapore Open, besides the CWG gold and Tokyo bronze.
“I will remember every moment with her. I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting and encouraging me,” added Park, who had a contract till the 2024 Paris Olympics. The Korean is the third coach to train Sindhu, who had started her career under mentor and chief India coach Pullela Gopichand before another Korean Kim Ji Hyun guided her to the World Championships gold in 2019 but that relationship ended on a bitter note. Interestingly, the news of Park’s departure comes a few days after former All-England champion Mohammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia was appointed by the Suchitra Academy on a two-year contract. Sindhu takes strength and conditioning coaching under trainer Srikanth Verma at Suchitra Academy and according to reports, Hashim, one of Malaysia’s most decorated shuttlers, will “provide some assistance to Sindhu for All England.” The All England Championships is scheduled to be held in Birmingham from March 14 to 19.