Day 1 – Practice day
We managed a much more relaxed breakfast this morning as it seems all the Para Games staff have left the hotel. After a small breakfast and relaxing in their rooms, the team headed off to the main arena for the first practice session in what was supposed to be tournament conditions. As it turned out the AC’s weren’t set at the tournament setting so that expectation wasn’t filled, but all in all it was great for Saina to get a good session in on the tournament surface, in the main arena.
All of the Indian contingent had a good session on the courts, and if practice is anything to go by I think we should she some strong runs this week. Saina is moving nicely and has no real complaints, the usual minor irritations that are part of a professional athletes life, but nothing we shouldn’t be able to work with his week. We just need to get on a bit of a run to build some momentum.
After practice the rest of the day was resting as the schedule only comes out the evening before play – so we don’t want to be hitting the gym with less that 12-18hours to recover. Any sessions during tournament weeks are tailored to fit into the schedule, and always lighter than normal, but you still don’t want to go into a gym session not knowing wether you are on court in either 12 hours or 20 hours. Eight hours recovery can make a big difference at the sharp end of professional sport!
We went out for a good meal at the local mall, which is perfect – has everything we could ask for. Badminton is obviously huge here in Indonesia as literally everyone recognizes Saina and wants a selfie (even more so than Malaysia last week). I’ve joked that we should get her a wig and glasses so she can walk through the mall in peace but she assures me she doesn’t mind at all and completely understands that the supporters mean well. I’m not sure I would have her patience, but I suppose she’s had more practice 🙂
Anyway, tomorrow is Round 1 for our half of the draw. Being an HSBC 1000 event there is no qualifying, only 32 entrants so round 1 is split over Tuesday and Wednesday. We’re off at around 6 pm so expecting tomorrow to be pretty relaxed too, with a possible light gym session in the morning.