I rate my CWG gold very highly: Saina

I rate my CWG gold very highly: Saina

An exhausted mind, a bruised body and an unsavoury controversy -- Saina Nehwal had to contend with quite a bit ahead of and during the Commonwealth Games.

Little wonder then that she placed her singles gold in the event right up there with the trail-blazing Olympic bronze of 2012.

"I really term it as next to my Olympic medal and my World No 1 ranking. So I would hold it up there. It's a gift to my father and my mother, my country. It's a very emotional moment for me after the disappointing loss in Rio due to injury," second seed Saina said after a straight-game but draining victory over top seed and compatriot P V Sindhu in the final here.

Saina played all the matches in the mixed team championship before competing in the individual event.

Asked how her legs were holding up after continuous competition, Saina quipped: "They are dead."

"I lost five kgs in the last few months, that helps you move faster," she added.

There were also niggles, which got aggravated during the team competition.

"The shin problem happened in the team event and I am playing with that," she revealed when asked about the bandage she was sporting even though it hardly impacted her execution of shots.

"It is not much of a problem, just two-three days of recovery is required. My match against Kirsty Gilmour went on for a long while and probably I aggravated the problem a bit," she said.

Asked if playing against Sindhu in a big final was more of a mental battle than anything else, Saina kept it simple.

"You just have to play your game, it's a healthy rivalry, people enjoy it, no doubt we are under tremendous pressure. But I am happy to be pulling these off. It's not easy to play against someone who is ranked No 3 in the world now," she said.

It was yet another final loss for Sindhu, who is now being criticised for not being able to pull off high-pressure games.

However, Saina defended her teammate.

"It happens in tough situations, it has happened with me as well. You can't write like that about any player. Today, I fought well. I didn't attack much because my stamina was finishing. I just wanted to finish off rallies. She was doing very well in rallies too," she said.

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