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  • Chennai firm helps Axelsen rise to the top of badminton world

    Viktor Axelsen with My Game Stat founders Sunil Kumar (extreme left), Senthil Kumaran (2nd from right) and Ashok B

    Viktor Axelsen with My Game Stat founders Sunil Kumar (extreme left), Senthil Kumaran (2nd from right) and Ashok B

    Chennai :

    Viktor Axelsen is Indian badminton star Kidambi Srikanth’s enemy No.1.

    The World No. 1 is a step ahead of Srikanth in the rankings and there’s a Chennai firm that has played a major role in the Danish star’s rise to the top.

    Since early 2017, Axelsen has been working in close collaboration with My Game Stat (MGS), which offers performance analytics in badminton. Comprising former player Ashok B, Sunil Kumar, Senthil Kumaran and Sajith. The company was set up in August 2016 with the intention of devising a performance analytics tool which the players can access for a wide range of data about their game.

    Axelsen, who became the world champion earlier this year, even sported the MGS logo on his T-shirt for three Super Series tournaments earlier in the year. The player’s association with the company started just before the Indian Open earlier this year.

    “I was very curious to know whether the top badminton players were using any analytics. This entire topic is very new. When you discuss this, everyone is immediately interested. When I got in touch with Viktor using my contacts, I found out he was still using his diary to make notes after every match and tournament. He probably plays 70 to 80 matches in a year and he can’t note down every detail. Once we started talking, he was immediately interested and said he had never been exposed to this kind of data,” Ashok told TOI .

    Firm eyes tie-up with Sindhu & Co

    Axelsen, too, acknowledged the difference that MGS has made to his game. “It is very useful and definitely helping me to prepare for my matches,” he was quoted by the MGS website.

    According to the analytics experts, Axelsen himself was unaware about a potential weakness to lefthanded players. “There was this particular pattern where we noticed that he was susceptible to lefthanders. He was shocked with what he saw and understood the kind of contribution we could make to his game,” Ashok said. It was no surprise that Axelsen went on to beat Chinese legend Lin Dan, a left-hander, in the World C’ship final.

    While the passion that the four shared for badminton brought them together, Senthil’s work experience as a consultant to a company which is the prime vendor for the National Football League in the US, combined with his eye for detail for the sport, was invaluable. Indian badminton is on a high with the rise of PV Sindhu, Srikanth and a host of other players, but the quartet hasn’t yet tied up with Gopichand & Co. The founders, though, insist it’s a matter of time.

    “As an Indian company, we obviously want to associate with Indian players. That is the next objective. We did not want to contact the Indian players until and unless we had a time-tested, proven module.

    We cannot afford to fail in India. We have already been in touch with the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and we expect things to be in place by January,” Sunil added.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Chennai News / by Vivek Krishnan / TNN / November 19th, 2017

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