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Solid bonding is helping to get good results, reveals Korean
“I am not here to make money, but to produce champions”, says Korean Kim Ji Hyun, former Asian Games gold medallist and now credited for playing a key role in P.V. Sindhu winning the 2019 World championship badminton gold in Basel (Switzerland) last Sunday.
“I would have left my job here (with Sports Authority of India at the Gopi Chand Badminton Academy here) if I were not enjoying it. And, also I make it a point that every one of my trainees enjoys their role,” she told The Hindu in an exclusive chat on return her return on Tuesday.
“Yes, I believe Sindhu played the perfect and best match of the championship in the final. We were specific that she should attack from the word go against Nozomi Okuhara, and not let the opponent any freedom given her reputation to engage in long rallies,” she said.
“We worked on a lot of things for sure and the emphasis was on all-round improvement of Sindhu’s game because we all know that she is a big player with the Olympics around next year,” Kim said.
“I am over the moon definitely after the World championship gold. Now the emphasis will continue on improving on every aspect — physical, mental and skills as always — for you cannot afford to relax in the run-up to Olympics,” she said.
“We have a very good bonding that is really helping me to get real good results,” she said.
“One thing I can say is that Sindhu is made to believe in herself more, even while she works on the need to cut down on the negatives. She is a champion player and all that she needed is some fine-tuning,” Kim said. “There is definite change in her attitude and skills for the good,” she added.
“Before the final, I just reminded Sindhu that she had beaten Okuhara in the recent past and all that she needed was to stay focussed and not think too what is going to happen in the final,” the Korean coach recalled.
Pleasure to work
“It is a pleasure to work with these Indian players who are all responding to my training method. It is sometimes boring, like any other job. So, I try different things to keep them relaxed and be mentally fresh for the challenges ahead,” Kim said.
“Definitely, it is important to maintain the kind of fitness, form and consistency Sindhu showed in the World championship. And it is a long, long way still to go before the next Olympics,” she cautioned.
On working with Gopi, Kim said she was pleased with his style of functioning. “When there is scope for creating ideas, you will enjoy your job more and that’s what I am doing now,” she said with a big smile.
“There will be pressure on me too as coach because of the expectations but like the players themselves, I have to be ready for any task,” she concluded.