Experienced Indonesian coach Agus Dwi Santoso will soon join the Indian camp to work with top singles players including PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal.
The appointment of Santoso, who was working with Badminton Association of Thailand till earlier this month, was cleared by the Sports Ministry recently and the paperwork for his visa has already started, said a Badminton Association of India source.
BAI had been looking for a foreign coach to help chief coach Pullela Gopichand ever since South Korea’s Kim Ji Hyun left the national team citing the health issues of her husband.
BAI secretary had told Times of India, “When we had advertised for the coaching position, his was the only application we received. We forwarded it to SAI. His application was considered and later approved by the coaches’ committee. As and when we get the official ministry’s clearance, SAI will offer him the contract and he should be with us by early March itself,” Singhania said.
The performance of the top Indian players has not been up to the mark since then and it was felt that there was a need for another foreign coach to work with the top players.
Sources said Gopichand himself had initiated the talks with Santoso, who had earlier coached star players like Son Wan Ho and Sung Ji-Hyun during his two-year stint with the South Korean squad from 2016-18.
He had also coached former Sydney Olympics silver medallist and 2001 World champion Hendrawan of Indonesia along with many other national team stars.
The top players are currently training in Denmark ahead of the All England Open and Swiss Open and it is not yet clear whether Santoso will join the squad in Europe or will directly come to India.