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Nov 11

Reading and regaining fitness Satwik’s priority on recovery road – The New Indian Express

Express News Service

CHENNAI:Sportspersons are known to be mentally tough. But the coronavirus pandemic has challenged even the stronger ones across the world. Closer home, it is no different for Satwiksairaj Rankireddy. For India's badminton doubles specialist, who contracted the virus in August end, it was more of a mental battle that he had to fight after recovering from the infection.

The 20-year-old joined the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad last month and has begun light training with foreign coaches Namrih Suroto and Dwi Kristiawan. With parents by his side in Amalapuram a town in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh he was able to retain his sanity during 20 days spent in isolation. Though he has recovered completely, Satwik steps out only for essentials and is confined to a room when not training. While getting on to the court has kept him in good stead, he admits there have been days when he felt low with no one around as only a handful of juniors are currently practising at the academy. With his brother's advise, he has turned to books to keep himself busy.

"It's lonely sometimes, especially after you have spent six months with your family," opened up Satwik. "I do fitness training in the morning and on-court practice in the evening. After that, I'm in my room figuring what to do next. I'm usually not into books but because of my brother, I have bought one My Olympic Dream (by Irish boxing champion Katie Taylor). Now that IPL is over, I need to find something to be occupied. Hope reading will help."

Asymptomatic when he tested positive, Satwik's other challenge was getting back in shape. Having lost four kilos during the lockdown with a proper fitness regime and diet tweaked consciously to remain healthy, he gained weight when he was away from physical activities at home. His priority now is to attain full fitness gradually and then sharpen skills.

"Everyone, from the security guard to the cleaning staff here, said I have become mota (fat). I smiled and told them 'blame corona.' It's difficult at times when you see juniors in full swing and you can't do the same level of intense training," added Satwik. "But patience is the need of the hour. My focus is 70 per cent on fitness and 30 per cent on on-court training. Initially, there was some muscle fatigue. After three-four weeks, I was able to move freely."

Ever since he joined the academy, India's head coach Pullela Gopichand has been in constant touch with him, asking him not to rush back. With no tournament lined up this year, Satwik is targeting the Asian leg of the World Tour a Super 1000 event scheduled for January in Bangkok.

"I will increase the intensity after a week or two. It's important that I don't get injured. The Asian leg is in two months, but we still don't know if it would be held. Ahead of the Olympics, it's important that we get to play three to four tournaments to get into the groove," elaborated the shuttler, who won silver in men's doubles in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The rest is here:
Reading and regaining fitness Satwik's priority on recovery road - The New Indian Express

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