World number 10, Parupalli Kashyap played badminton under the same roof for 8 long years with Saina Nehwal, before the badminton sensation parted ways with her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand.
She does not train anymore at his academy but she is being dearly missed over there. Kashyap while talking to Times of India said that the whole academy misses Saina as she was a role model to everyone here at the academy. Saina chose to go with former India coach U Vimal Kumar to train in Bangalore.
Kashyap said, “Although I have been senior to her in the sport, personally, I have always been inspired looking at Saina train and play. Her achievements speak volumes of her hard work and dedication. I definitely miss her at the academy. I’m sure most of the other trainees miss her too. Her work ethic always motivated me.”
Kashyap also spoke on how competitive the sport has become over the years. He said, “Earlier, sparring (practising with top players) was an issue since each player was training with their respective coaches, but now India’s top players train together at national camps. It has brought in a lot of competitive spirit among the players. Even during training matches, we aim to beat each other and this has brought in positive results, with almost six male shuttlers now ranked inside the top 50.”