On a Promising Ride: Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal, the 18-year-old Indian Badminton Player from Hyderabad shocked everyone and created the biggest upset of the women’s singles tournament of the Beijing Olympics 2008. The underdog, Saina defeated World No. 6 Wang Chen creating history of being the fist Indian woman shuttler to enter the quarter finals of any Olympics.

Though she lost the singles at the Olympics following a quarter-final loss to Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti, nonetheless her performance gave her sufficient notice.

In spite of her loss she has queened the Lady of India at the Olympics. She showed tremendous courage and talent to fight against some of the best palyers from Indonesia and other Countries. Saina has incredible potential to become the no:1 in World if she gets due support and encouragement and funding from Govt of India and the Federation of Indian Badminton.

Saina Nehwal who was born on March 17, 1990 in Hyderabad city of India, has been coached by S M Arif, who was a Dronacharya Awardee. The Gopi Chand Academy of Hyderabad has groomed her under the aegis of Pullela Gopichand, whose academy took care of her funding and helped her participate in tournaments held in Holland and Denmark.

Being a National Junior champion, Saina Nehwal has always performed well in all the tournaments in which she has participated. She has carved a niche for herself in not just National but International tournaments as well.

The Junior Czech Open 2003 provided a major break to Saina’s career as she went on to win the tournament hands on surprising and knocking down several seeded players.

Saina Nehwal also played her level best in the Commonwealth Games of 2004 though she did not return with a medal. Considering that she is just 19 years old, she has a very promising career lying in front of her.