Former All England champion Prakash Padukone has stated that the standard set by PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal is quite difficult to match for the next generation players. Even though some of the current players are technically on par with them, Prakash feels that they lag behind in physicality.
It was the All England win in 1980 that popularized the racquet sport in India, with Prakash Padukone establishing himself as a poster-boy back then. However, it took another 21 years for the Indian shuttlers to re-create such a heroic feat on the world stage, with Pullela Gopichand grabbing top honours in 2001.
But, India’s struggle in the women’s section finally ended when Saina Nehwal claimed a historic bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics. PV Sindhu stepped a level beyond, with her claiming back-to-back medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics (silver) and 2020 Tokyo Olympics (bronze) to achieve an unmatched feat.
Prakash Padukone feels that the standard set by Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu is quite difficult to match for the next generation players. Even though some of the current players are technically on par with them, Prakash feels that they lag behind in physicality.
"There is a big gap. That is a fact," "I think the standard generally was very low but these two took it to a different level altogether. They`ve raised the bar so high that it seems almost impossible for anyone (to match),” said Prakash Padukone, after launching the Padukone Sports Management badminton coaching programme at the National Sports Club of India in Mumbai.
"Both of them were very fit in terms of speed, in terms of fitness, in terms of strength, in terms of power, which none of the other girls have," he added.