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Rediff.com  » Sports » Gopichand mum over split with Saina

Gopichand mum over split with Saina

September 02, 2014 19:19 IST

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand remained tightlipped about his split with Saina Nehwal, saying he doesn't want to talk about the issue as the Asian Games is just round the corner.

Struggling with her form, India's top shuttler Saina has sought the help of former chief coach Vimal Kumar to prepare for the prestigious Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea but said she will return to Hyderabad after the tournament.

However, Gopichand didn't seemed too amused by the development.

"Well, it has been ten years we worked together. Whatever has happened, I am not very .... I saw that report in the paper in the morning. Leave it at that," Gopichand told reporters in a press conference.

"I don't want to comment on that issue because it is two weeks to go for the Asian Games. I think where ever you are training the last thing you want is your focus to be out. So leave it that, (lets) address it later," he said.

Replying to repeated queries on the issue, Gopichand said he doesn't want to discuss the matter at the moment.

Saina has been struggling with her fitness and form for almost two years. She had broken her 20-month long Super Series title drought, winning the Australian Open in June and also performed well at the Uber Cup in May.

However, the Indian withdraw from her title defence of Commonwealth Games in Glasgow just days ahead of the tournament citing fitness issues.

Saina returned to action at the World championship last week but could not win a medal as she crashed out of the tournament with a straight-game loss to World No.1 Chinese Li Xuerui in the quarterfinals.

With the Asian Games just a fortnight away, Saina decided to hone her skills with Vimal, whose tips had helped her immensely during her unbeaten run at the Uber Cup.

The 23-year-old flew to Bangalore to train at the Prakash Padukone academy for the next two weeks.

"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," the Olympic bronze medallist said.

"I reached Bangalore today and I will train under him for the next 15 days. I want to win a medal at the Asian Games and hope it helps me to do well there."

Image: Pullela Gopichand

Photograph: PTI