Who is Park Tae-Sang, coach of P V Sindhu?

Who is Park Tae-Sang, coach of P V Sindhu?

Tae-Sang began his coaching career in 2013 with the South Korean national badminton side, where he stayed till 2018

Park Tae-Sang (L) and P V Sindhu. Credit: Twitter/@BAI_Media

As P V Sindhu let out a scream of joy and relief after beating He Bingjiao to the Olympic bronze medal on Sunday, a man seated by the court-side let out an even louder scream.

The man in question is Park Tae-Sang, a former Korean singles shuttler who has been Sindhu's coach since late 2019.

He began his badminton career as a singles player, winning gold in the 2002 Asian Games for South Korea. The Korean had also made it to the quarterfinals of the 2004 Athens Olympics and is an Asian Badminton Championship bronze medallist.

Tae-Sang began his coaching career in 2013 with the South Korean national badminton side, where he stayed till 2018. The 42-year-old then moved to India after joining the illustrious Pullela Gopichand Badminton academy and was tasked with coaching the Indian men's singles shuttlers.

It was only in 2019 that Tae-Sang got the opportunity to work with Sindhu and it was purely out of necessity since the ace shuttler's previous coach, Kim Ji Hyun, had to head back to Korea after her husband fell ill. Taking over as Sindhu's coach towards the end of 2019, and only a few months before the pandemic struck, Tae-Sang and Sindhu decided to shift base from the Gopichand academy to the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, which raised many eyebrows.

The move, however, helped Sindhu get a feel of what it would be like to compete without the presence of fans to spur her on — exactly how it was in the Musashino Forest Sports Plaza.

The duo also worked on Sindhu's defence, which was long seen as her weakness, and the results were there for the world to see on Sunday.

Having a strong relationship with one's coach is extremely important for a badminton player, and Tae-Sang made sure of it throughout the Olympics, whether by his celebratory screams or the little things – eye contact and positive reinforcement after each point.

In Sindhu's bronze medal win, the Korean has been able to achieve what was had long-eluded him as a player. After the bronze medal match, he told news agency PTI that it was a big moment in his "teaching life."

"It is the first time that India badminton player has won two Olympic medals in badminton, so it is a great achievement not only for Sindhu but also a big moment for my teaching life," Park said.

"It is an important moment for my leadership career because as a player and coach I never won an Olympic medal. So it is a first for me too. I am very happy, can't express myself," the coach added.

(With PTI inputs)