Hafiz hails commitment of 2019 world champ after comeback from injury

One to remember: Hafiz posing with P.V. Sindhu after one of the training sessions at the Suchitra Badminton Academy in Hyderabad.

PETALING JAYA: India’s women singles star P.V. Sindhu is a good role model to many for various reasons but one that stands out is her determination to make her way back to the top after recovering from injury.

And that’s something that Malaysian shuttlers, especially those struggling from physical setbacks, can follow, says former All-England champion Mohd Hafiz Hashim.

Hafiz is currently in India with the Suchitra Badminton Academy in Hyderabad as the coach for the club, and occasionally gets to train 2019 world champion Sindhu.

Sindhu has returned briefly to her club as part of her preparation for the Sudirman Cup in Suzhou, China, from May 14-21.

India are in Group C with Malaysia, Taiwan and Australia and only the top two teams will advance to the last eight.

Hafiz said Sindhu’s commitment to the game is exemplary. “I try to help her out whenever she comes to this club, currently, we are doing a few sessions,” said Hafiz.

“I’ve coached her before during the PBL (Premier Badminton League) back in 2013-2014 in India and now, we have caught up. She is a good person in and out of court, very respectful and humble.

“She has been training very well after coming back from her injury that ruled her out for six months last year.”

Sindhu, who only made her return to the Malaysian Open this year, has recovered from a stress fracture in her left foot.

“Her focus now is to reduce her weight a little bit more and increase her skills consistently.

“She’s very hardworking and her focus is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. She’s still India’s No. 1 and the chances are still open for her.”

Due to the injury and break from tournaments, 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics silver medal winner Sindhu has dropped to 12th in the world. At the height of her career, she was ranked No. 2 but with her steady improvement, it will not be long before she gets back into the top five.

As for the 40-year-old Hafiz, he has settled down after taking up the coaching job three months ago.

“It’s getting better and better for me here. I’ve been coaching the senior and junior teams,” he said.

“We’ve few up and coming talents here, like Karthikey Gulshan, ranked 99th in the world, Ansal Yadav, Yash Yogi, Abhiyanhs Singh and Saahas Kumar.

“Their average age is about 19-23 years old and they are performing well in training and also in the India Senior tournament,” added Hafiz, who also sends his players for international tournaments, including the International Satellite and Challenge.

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