The London 2012 bronze medalist does not seek to win tournaments, but rather to stay fit so that she can reach her full potential
Saina nehwal is considered a pioneer in her country.
The 30-year-old (31st March 17th) became the first female badminton player from India to win medals in the Olympics when she won bronze London 2012. She has a long list of novelties as a player from her country, including reaching the final of the World Cup where she won silver in 2015.
The three-time Olympian who made her debut in the quarterfinals Beijing 2008, wanted to improve her bronze in Rio in 2012, but suffered a shock outcome in the group stage.
It was only after her return from Brazil that she fully understood the cause of her performance and communicated it with Olympic Channel What the doctor discovered while performing an MRI on her problem knee.
“What they found on the MRI was that there was a small bone that actually broke off in the knee. And I was pretty shocked, how can the bone break just like that?” – Saina Nehwal to the Olympic Canal
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For the first time in her career, Nehwal had an operation to correct the situation.
Upon her return to the field, she reached the semifinals of the 2017 World Cup and lost in the last four to eventual champion Okuhara Nozomi.
From time to time other injury issues would arise where her performance became slightly erratic. However, when she was fit, she could reach her full potential and made it Bronze at the 2018 Asian Games and Gold at the Commonwealth Games 2018.
Success on the World Tour route escaped her, however, until she reached the final of the 2019 Indonesia Masters. Against Carolina Marin, Nehwal was behind in the opening game when the three-time world champion retired after tearing up her ACL. Nehwal was awarded the title and it will be the last time to date that she has completed a tour final.
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Saina Nehwal (C), silver medalist PV Sindhu (L) and bronze medalist Kirsty Gilmour (R)
When the pandemic stalled the 2020 season, Nehwal pulled the positive results from the national suspension and used them as an opportunity to break her grueling routine as an elite athlete.
She admitted that she was happy to have the luxury of relaxing, which she couldn’t for the last 19 years of her career. She could also use the time to think about how to come back as a better player.
“The pandemic really helped me think and get back in shape” – Saina Nehwal, on the Olympic Channel
“I’ve had some time to think about how we can improve my body, my injuries and how we can get stronger again on the international circuit,” she added.
It was a difficult start to the year for Nehwal. She has only won one of the four tour tournaments she has competed in and is currently outside the top 16 on the Race To Tokyo rankings, which gives her the chance to compete in her fourth Olympics.
But the experienced player has a clear idea of her approach.
“I’m not looking for or having a goal to win this or that tournament. I just want to improve. And when I’m fit enough, I am sure that I can return very good results in the tournament.”
Nehwal will play next against Denmark Mia Blichfeldt in their inaugural game of the All England Open 2021, which starts on March 17th.
This match took place on August 4th, 2012 at the ExCeL Exhibition Center in London …