Former All England Open champion Prakash Padukone hoped that Indian shuttlers would reach their peak just in time for Rio saying that only performances on the day matter at the Olympics. He also commended Saina Nehwal’s game noting that it has improved from her bronze-medal finish at London 2012.
Prakash Padukone, in an interview, has said that it was vital for Indian shuttlers to peak during the period of the competition at Rio, August 11-20, to do well.
"When you go there it doesn't matter if in the last two months you have beaten all the top players and you have been the world number one.
"It's important that you reach the peak and play your best during that particular week. That's what will count ultimately and will be the key," Padukone was reported as saying by Reuters.
The Olympic Gold Quest co-founder also said that Saina Nehwal’s game was much better than it was when she won the bronze at the London Olympics. "Saina has a lot more variety now. I think she plays a lot more at the net now. Earlier her game was more or less predictable. She had a few strokes, she used to keep playing them and there were not many variations.
"Now she has developed a lot more strokes, specially at the net. She is much more confident and that has made a big difference," reported Reuters.
He also noted that the 26-year old needed to tweak her game a bit more to be even better. "Tactically she can do a little bit more. Maybe a plan A and plan B, which I'm sure she already has. Maybe if something doesn't work, then she has to have a different plan.
"It's just the question of a little bit of polishing. She definitely has everything otherwise she wouldn't have been where she is,” Reuters reported.
Padukone also spoke about the wane of Chinese domination in the sport with no Chinese on top of the men’s or women’s singles rankings.
"They are no longer the dominating force going by the results we have seen in the last 12 to 24 months.
"Earlier when the draw used to come, everybody used to hope there are no Chinese." Padukone said.
"That's no longer the case, that fear is not there anymore. That's good for the game. For the Indians, though they wouldn't say it, but it used to be a mind-block,” he added, reported Reuters.