'My driving force is my mother'

'My driving force is my mother'

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'My driving force is my mother'

The first thing that strikes you about ace shuttler Saina Nehwal is her broad smile and warm demeanour. One can also gauge a sense of calmness and confidence as she begins to answer a volley of questions.

It hasn’t been an easy journey for her as she has had to work very hard to get where she is. She has managed to not only achieve her dream but also hopes to inspire young women to take to the sport in a big way. In the city for the ‘Hyundai Creta’ anniversary edition, Saina takes time off to chat with Nina C George about what keeps her going.

What inspires you to stay focussed?

I was nine-years-old when my mother Usha put me into badminton classes and told me that I must win an Olympic medal someday. Constant support and encouragement from my parents is what keeps me going. My driving force is my mother.    

How do you overcome negativity? 

I definitely have my difficult days and there are times when I feel low. My parents have been very patient in putting up with all my tantrums. Spending time with my dog Chopsy helps relieve my stress.

Your toughest moment.

My toughest moment till now has been during the recent Australian Badminton Open. I had an injury and I knew I wasn’t at my fittest best but I was determined to pull through. My grit saw me through my worst moment.

 Do you take time off for yourself?

I hardly get time for myself. I train for about eight to 10 hours a day and when I do get some time off, I prefer to just relax.

Your favourite dish.
I enjoy the ‘aloo paratha’ that my mother makes and prefer sticking to a healthy and simple diet. I do have my cheat days but the focus is on staying fit and healthy.

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