One of India’s best hopes for an Olympic medal in Tokyo next summer has left her national training camp and escaped to London.
PV Sindhu arrived in the UK ten days ago and is expected to stay there for at least two months.
Stories have emerged of a rift with her family, who usually travel with the badminton world champion everywhere, and it is reported that she has flown to London to work on her nutrition and recovery. Whilst in the UK her fitness will be monitored by a team of experts, whose number includes Rebecca Randall of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.
She is also likely to start training with the England team and is reported to have a few friends in the UK with whom she will be networking.
According to reports, Sindhu decided to make a bolt for it after tensions within her family, with life under lockdown apparently taking its toll. The 25-year-old craves her independence, and no longer wants to be controlled at this stage of her life.
Before leaving Hyderabad, Sindhu informed coaches at the Pullela Gopichand Academy of her plans and has told them not to expect her back in India for the next eight to ten weeks.
Sindhu’s father, PV Ramana, has denied claims of a rift and has said that she has gone to London because she was unhappy with the quality of practice offered at the national training camp.
In particular he has singled out Chief National Coach Pullela Gopichand for criticism, saying that he was not interested in training her, and had failed to provide her with a proper training partner. Fed up, she decided to take matters into her own hands.