Confident Saina aims top spot

Confident Saina aims top spot

Badminton: Indian ace keen to do well at All-England

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal, who became the world number 2 last week after a gap of two years, on Tuesday said she is aiming for the top slot this year.

“I am working hard and performances are coming. Now that I am number 2, I will definitely reach number 1,” Saina told reporters on the sidelines of an event launch here.

Saina Nehwal

“There are so many tournaments this year. Almost 15-20 tournaments. The goal is to perform well in all the events and do well in the World Championships, which is important. World number 1 is also my aim, so hopefully I will achieve it. Let’s see,” she added.

Asked how she keeps herself motivated, the Olympic bronze medallist said, “It’s a difficult job to do. Chinese are really tough to play against. The number one is also Chinese, with almost 12,000 points more than me. It is not easy to become world number one. I will try to do it. Nothing is impossible.

I have made many things possible, so I hope I can make this also possible. The amount of hard work which I put in my game is really important. Motivation comes from winning, and that is what keeps me going,” the Hyderabadi said.

After creating history last year by winning the bronze medal at the London Olympics, Nehwal said she is carrying the momentum this year too.

“It was a fantastic year. Won almost five tournaments. Won the Olympic bronze medal for the first time in Indian badminton history. It was such a wonderful year, it gave me lot of motivation to do well for this year as well. It has started well, performed well in the two tournaments,” she said.

Setting her sights on the All England Open badminton championships starting on March 5, the 22-year-old said she will train for a month for the tourney.

“There are lot more tournaments this year. The All England and World Championships which I am looking forward to. The important thing is the time of practice, which I didn’t get so much. I have been playing too many tournaments. Now I have a proper one month break, and hopefully will do well in the All England,” she said.

Parupalli Kashyap also features in the top 10 of men’s singles, and Nehwal said the sport is improving in the country.

“Indian badminton is coming up well. We have two top 10 players from India and (PV) Sindhu is number 16 now. So it is good that we are improving,” she said.