Arjuna awardee Saina to strive for Oly gold

Arjuna awardee Saina to strive for Oly gold

Saina Nehwal

The 19-year-old Hyderabadi dedicated the award to her parents and coach Pullela Gopichand.

“I am happy that my performance and hard work is being rewarded. It motivates me to perform better. I want to dedicate it to my parents and coach,” Saina said.

“It is a recognition of my work and I’m excited but I think if I can win an Olympic gold for my country in front of my parents and coach, that would be the most emotional moment for me,” she added.

Saina won the Indonesian Super Series in June, the Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold in September last year and the Phillipines Open in 2006.

Saina said although she didn’t have to struggle too much, the early days of her career were slightly tough.

“I feel I am lucky that I didn’t have to struggle as much as others have to because my parents have taken care of everything since eight years, when I was introduced to badminton.

“I remember I had to travel 25 kms to reach the stadium for training and the way my father had to pay from his pocket in the initial years of my career. But for the last 5-6 years, it has been quite smooth,” Saina said.

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