Lack of adequate time to recover after a late night match affected Saina Nehwal’s performance in the semifinals, feels her coach Vimal Kumar, who called for perfect scheduling of matches in big ticket events such as World Championship and Olympics.
Saina had to settle for a bronze after losing to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semifinals and Vimal put the blame on the poor scheduling of the matches at Glasgow.
“I feel sad for Saina. She didn’t get enough time to recover for the semifinal match. She had a late quarterfinal match and then she had to play in the morning. I think the overall scheduling was a problem,” Vimal told PTI from Glasgow.
“Scheduling shouldn’t be dictated by TV. I will hold the technical official responsible for this. They should ensure that players get enough time to recover. This is an issue and it needs to be taken up with the officials.
“Even Chen Long and Srikanth had late matches and had to play in the morning. It is the World Championship and it can’t be compared with any other tournament. For big events such as World Championship, Olympics, it is important to have perfect scheduling,” he added. Vimal gave a lot of credit to Japan’s Okuhara for her win over Saina.
“Saina had a good track record against Okuhara and she won the first game playing at a good pace. She is extremely good in slow conditions. She always tries to tire out her opponents and then counter attack,” he said.
“So I feel a little sad for Saina, she didn’t have as great a recovery as Okuhara had. But otherwise I am happy with Saina’s overall performance.”
While Saina settled for a bronze, P V Sindhu had to be contend with a silver medal after losing a nail-biting marathon battle against Okuhara.
Talking about the epic final between Sindhu and Okuhara, the former India chief coach said: “It was a classical match and there were no losers by the end of it. Sindhu perhaps should have taken the first game. But overall both the girls performed really good.”
Vimal reiterated that Saina and Sindhu showed that they are among the best in the world.
“Five months back Saina had beaten Okuhara at the All England and the Japanese could have lost in the first round itself. In fact, Sindhu also had a difficult match against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. So all these girls are of the same level. I don’t see any difference. It is just that Okuhara could peak at the right time.”