A handful of experienced foreign coaches are set to join the national badminton camp in Hyderabad from next month, according to a report in Times of India.
2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist Flandy Limpele, Asian Games gold medallist Kim Ji Hyun and Olympian Park Tae Sang will join forces with the national coach Pullela Gopichand to strengthen India's squad.
Korean coaches Kim and Park, who were a part of the Korean national staff, will take care of the singles department. Kim comes with a lot of experience and is the first foreign woman coach to work with the Indian team. Park has played against Gopichand at tournaments before.
Gopichand had earlier mentioned that the team had moved on from Indonesian coach Mulyo Handoyo's departure, who helped India win several titles in 2017. However, apart from PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, the rest of the singles contingency hasn't delivered to full potential in the last 12 months. With 2019 being the year of Olympic qualification, the hiring of foreign coaches makes complete sense.
Limpele, also known as Flandy, of Indonesia and Namrih Suroto are expected to head the doubles section with current coach Tan Kim Her. Flandy won a series of top-level titles in his prime and had forged a formidable partnership with Vita Marissa in the mixed doubles circuit. Indonesia's Ade Kurniawan will also join as a sparring partner.
The report further states that with around 40 players training at the PGBA round the year and Sindhu opting to train at a different venue, Gopichand felt the need of a helping hand.
The next big tournament is the All England Championships, which begins from 6-10 March in Birmingham.