New Delhi: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu on Tuesday announced that former Malaysian shuttler Muhammad Hafiz Hashim will be her new coach.
Sindhu parted ways with her former coach, Korea’s Park Tae-Sang, in February 2023.
Former world champion had been training on and off with Hafiz Hashim at Hyderabad’s Suchitra Badminton Academy (SBA) since her split with the South Korean but only announced him officially as her coach on Tuesday.
“HERE WE GO!! In typical Fabrizio style, I am thrilled to announce Hafiz Hashim as my new coach!!
After a long, drawn-out process, I am ecstatic to declare that I have chosen the incredible Hafiz Hashim as my coach. Hafiz possesses all the traits I was seeking in a coach, including the height, speed, and an attacking instinct,” wrote Sindhu on Twitter along with her picture with the new coach.
“As a former all England champion in 2003, he sure has the pedigree as well. Having coach Sidek as his old coach, just add this aura to him. I extend a warm welcome aboard, Coach Hashim. Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a hell of a journey with captain Hafiz at the helm!!” she added.
Hafiz Hashim comes as a full-time coach when the 28-year old Sindhu has dropped down to world No. 17 in the latest women’s singles BWF rankings. This is Sindhu’s lowest ranking since January 2013.
According to reports, Sindhu formally requested the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to approve Hafiz Hashim as her coach last month and her proposal to appoint the Malaysian as her coach till the Paris 2024 Olympics was accepted last Thursday.
Hashim has already flown from New Delhi to Yeosu, where Sindhu is playing in the Korea Open. He will also be travelling with the Indian star for the Japan Open, Australian Open and the Asian Games.
As a player, Muhammad Hafiz Hashim has won several medals at the Asian Games, Thomas Cup and Sudirman Cup with Team Malaysia. His individual successes include a singles title at the 2003 All England Open and a Commonwealth Games singles gold medal at Manchester 2002.
After retiring from the sport, Hafiz took up coaching with the Academy Badminton Malaysia in December last year before moving to Hyderabad in February this year.
Hafiz’s first challenge will be to get Sindhu back in form as she has endured a poor season so far and failed to win a single title on the BWF World Tour. Since making her comeback after a long injury lay-off following the gold medal win at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, the ace Indian has struggled to find consistency.
Sindhu returned to action at the Malaysian Open and Indian Open this year and suffered first-round exits from both tournaments. The Hyderabad shuttler was part of India’s bronze medal win at the Badminton Asia Mixed Team Championship 2023 at Doha in February but overall, has been in poor form.
In the 11 BWF World Tour 2023 competitions she has been a part of this year, Sindhu has crashed out in the first round on five occasions and made second round exits in two more.