Tokyo, Aug 2: His phone hasn't stopped buzzing ever since P V Sindhu claimed the bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics but India's foreign badminton coach Park Tae-sang says he did feel "little pressure" after being suddenly asked to train the star shuttler for the Games.
The 42-year-old from South Korea was initially hired to train the men's singles players but started working with Sindhu after the abrupt departure of Kim Ji Hyun, following the World Championship in 2019.
"I'm really happy because this is the first time my player has got a medal in my coaching career," Park, who competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics before taking up coaching the national Korean team, said during a virtual press conference.
"When I first started teaching Sindhu, she was already a big Olympic star. I felt little pressure but I tried. My Korean players also didn't get an Olympic medal, so I thought I can try to get her a gold. We failed but bronze is also a very big medal.
"Now from yesterday, I am receiving many messages from Indian fans. My Instagram is buzzing every second. I am experiencing it for the first time and I am really thankful to them."
Considered one of the favourites to win gold, Sindhu failed to go the distance after losing her semifinal match to world number one Tai Tzu Ying, and Park said he too felt disappointed with the Indian's efforts in the last-four clash.
"In the semifinal, she disappointed me also but I told her that we have to play one more match and we have to get a good result. I believed in her and she did it. So I thank her," he said.
Sitting by the courtside, Park was always animated during Sindhu's match as he constantly egged her on.
"I was a little nervous... I was shouting sometimes for her not to play in a particular way. Some players, I think Sindhu also, gets important points and then they feel pressure and they throw away the next point, making easy mistakes.
"So I told her to be please calm down. I said, 'Sindhu, please aaram se (take it easy), rally hasn't finished, so aaram se', and she did it and we got good result," he laughed.
The Korean says he is looking forward to spending time with his daughter, whom he last saw for just 13 days, in February. "I really miss my daughter. She is just three years old, but since last February, I just met my family for 13 days, so they have been telling me to come back to Korea and want to see me. So I promised my daughter I will go to Korea," he said.
"But cases are increasing there, so I am a little worried also. There is also a quarantine rule from India. But I am very happy because I can go to Korea now."