Long Europe stints for promising Indian shuttlers

February 27th, 2008 - 3:21 pm ICT by admin  

By Avishek Roy
New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Seven of India’s best badminton players will have long training-cum-competition stints in Britain, France and Denmark for the next three years. The Bangalore-based Tata-Padukone Badminton Academy has chosen the seven future stars of India. They will be sent on three-month training-cum-competition stints at a time, the academy’s chief coach Vimal Kumar told IANS Wednesday.

The men selected by the academy are Anand Pawar, Ajai Jayaraman and Aditya Prakash. The women are Aditi Mutatkar, Gayatri Vartak, Ruth Misa and Ashwini Ponappa.

They have all represented India and have won several national junior and sub-junior titles and have given the current top players a run for their money at the senior nationals. Pawar won his first international title last week, claiming the Austrian Open.

Kumar told IANS that the youngsters will be training at England’s National Badminton Centre at Milton Keynes; Paris Olympic Centre in France and Morten Frost Hansen’s Academy in Aarhus, Denmark.

Kumar will soon visit the three countries to work out the schedules and other details. “We are looking to base our players at these three centres because logistically it is convenient and also cost-effective, making it easy for them to play in the various European competitions.

“In Asia there are many restrictions, so it is easy for us to base them in Europe where they get to play many good players. Our players will become a little more independent and can focus on their game.”

Many Indian shuttlers including Anup Sridhar, Arvind Bhat and Pawar have trained in Hansen’s academy in Denmark and benefited immensely.

Kumar said the players going to Europe should form the nucleus of the future India team and it is the right time for them to gain experience playing overseas.

“We have picked these seven because they are young and have the potential to emerge as future stars. We have groomed them. They are mature now and have reached a level where they need to meet players of different styles to prepare themselves for the harder international grind.”

The short stints overseas would allow the seven to play on the domestic as well as the Asian circuits, Kumar added.

“We are also working on exchange programmes so that European players come to our academy to get acclimatised to sub-continental conditions.”

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