Tokyo Paralympics champion Pramod Bhagat and fellow shuttler Sukant Kadam are hopeful their overseas training stint will prove beneficial for them in the upcoming tournaments and the 2024 Paris Games.
Bhagat and Kadam are set to undergo training in different countries in Europe for the next two months. They are currently in Cartagena, Spain, which will also host the Spanish Para Badminton International a Level 1 tournament- from March 8.
BWF has recently announced new grades and levels in the tournament structure for the para-badminton calendar.
“The main focus of this training stint is to acclimatize to the weather and court conditions here, adapting to European playing style, learning new skills and tactics etc,” Kadam told Paralympic India.
“This stint will also help us know different approaches of players to training and competition. We have been planning for this exposure stint for a long time now but it was put on halt due to the Covid-19 situation worldwide.”
The Indian duo is also looking to have training stints with the German and French nation team, which boasts the likes of Paralympic champion in men’s singles SL4 Lucas Mazur.
“With Paris 2024 little more than two years away, we hope that training with the French team will benefit us in our preparation for the big event. Besides, we are looking to adapt to the new BWF rule on different grades and levels in the tournament, said Kadam, who competes in the SL4 category.
In SL4 class, shuttlers have lower limb impairment/severe and they play standing.
Bhagat, the men’s singles SL3 Paralympic champion, added: After the Paralympics, I wanted a personal space for myself where I can chalk out plans for the year 2022 and beyond.
“I believe this training cum competition programme will help me focus on my goal of winning the major championships including the Asian Para Games, World Championships and Paris 2024 Paralympics.”
In SL3 classification, athletes with lower limb impairment are allowed to compete.