No shortcut to top, Budi tells shuttlers

Budi argues that the reason could be cultural. "India's interest in badminton is relatively new. The current craze that I see has come up in the last four years or so with Saina Nehwal's international success. In countries like Indonesia and China, the badminton culture is already well established. We have a lot of players who are competitive internationally. So all our young players are already prepared for a high level of competition at the local stage itself."

Although Budi doesn't seem to be too upbeat about the state of affairs in Indian badminton, he does say that there are several positive signs. "In the Padukone Academy, there is a boy, Lakshay Sen, who has a combination of immense talent and a strong work ethic. I also have friends who coach in the Pullela Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and they say the players there are undergoing exactly the kind of intensive training I am talking about," he says.

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