Saina Nehwal
In just over two weeks time, Saina
Nehwal will begin her pursuit to win a
second Olympic medal at the 31st edition
of the Summer Games to be staged by
Rio de Janerio. The 26-year-old has
endured a mixed first half of 2016, having
bowed out at the semifinal stage of 6
competitions, consecutively before finally
winning at the Australian Open
Superseries in June, her second title is
Sydney in three years.
Now as she gears up for her third
Olympics, the shuttler is happy with her
preparations and felt that the triumph in
Sydney was ‘perfect’ before the Games’.
“Any Olympics is a huge challenge and
you see so many ups and downs between
editions. By God’s grace, I believe that the
build-up for me has been good in terms
of training and the recent Australian Open
title was just perfect before this Games.
“Every effort is being made to come back
with a medal. I will not be found wanting
in Rio and hope the results will be
fruitful,” Saina said in an interview to The
Saina will be carrying a lot of
expectations on her shoulders to return
home with a medal and while admitting
the fact, adds that once she steps foot on
the court, she shuts herself off all the
noise and focusses on the job at hand.
“It will be there and I hear about it in the
media. But once you are on the court, you
have to shut yourself away from all these
issues and focus on the match,” she said.
Rio will be Saina’s third Olympic Games
and she feels a great sense of pride in
representing India at the Games and adds
that she hasn’t made major changes to
her game.
“To represent India for a third straight
time is definitely a matter of pride. I don’t
think I have had to make major
adjustments in my game except
improving in some areas which every
player has to do before a major event. I
am looking at a better approach to drops,
dribbling and half-smashes,” she said.
When asked who she thought would be
her toughest opponent, Saina said there
was no one player who would be a threat
and concluded by wishing the rest of the
contingent the best.
“You cannot pick a player or two as your
major challengers will be there. In terms
of competition, it will be like a Super
Series event, where the big guns line up,
but the tag of Olympics makes a huge
“I sincerely convey my best wishes not
just to my fellow shuttlers but to the entire
Indian Olympic contingent,” she