The first thing which comes to our mind when we see the Olympics is Saina Nehwal, the start sensation. With this, Tokyo Games will be her fourth Olympics, having represented the country in 2008, 2012 and 2016. She reached the quarterfinals in 2008, won a bronze in 2012 and crashed out in group stages in 2016 when she played with knee inflammation. Saina skipped the India Open in New Delhi after she developed pancreas infection during the All England Championships earlier this month. "I am coming out of a pancreas infection and I am planning to play Malaysia Open next week. Let's see how it happens," she said.
Asked if she is happy with what has panned out after the surgery in 2016, she said, "I am fighting, trying to improve my game and win as many matches as possible. That is what I can do and the rest I don't know because I cannot predict results. "I'm happy I am being able to win a few tournaments. I did well in CWG (won gold), Asian Games (bronze), Denmark Open finalist and won in Indonesia (Indonesia Masters this year).
There were a few good results that keep me inspiring and motivating to continue doing well. The rest I want to take care of my health, improve my game and think of winning my next tournament."The cramped badminton calendar following the Badminton World Federation's decision, which requires top players to feature in at least 12 out of 15 tournaments a year, has been criticised by many shuttlers.
Saina said she had also taken up the issue with the global governing body but to no avail."Our body cannot take so many tournaments in a year. Finally, it a body and not a machine, so it is tough but you have to find ways to be fit for most of the tournaments. We (some players) told last year that the calendar can be smaller and money can be bigger in these tournaments. Make it like tennis, like how they have four grand slams," she said.
"I don't know why BWF is busy doing these things, different tournaments. Being a player we don't have the time to sit and speak about it often. We can only focus on the next tournament. Last year we tried to speak in December as well but nothing changed, so we have to go with the routine."Asked how her husband P Kashyap sitting at the coach's corner in recent tournaments different from national coach Pullela Gopichand, Saina said, "Both of them are making really good plans for me. Sometimes you are more comfortable with a friend. Kashyap can be a bit more strict and hard on me because Gopi sir is basically quiet and simple on the court."Kashyap knows at the moment I am a little bit scared sometimes to move around after my surgery, sometimes I feel a little bit tense to move. With the way he (Kashyap) can shout at me and make me play, I feel confident."
She said the move (to be with Kashyap in tournaments) is helping her game."I am being able to take some good tips from Kashyap in the last 4-5 months. It has helped my game a bit here and there. I just told Gopi sir that let him help me for few more months and we will see how it changes. "Change is always helpful, we should keep on changing. That is why he is sitting there."
The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards is a school-level (class VI to XII) programme for volunteer community service aimed at encouraging the efforts of school children who have made a difference and inspired countless others. The 9th Annual Pramerica Spirit of Community awards (SOCA) is an initiative by DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance."These awards help me understand what these kids can do and what India is capable of. We have so much talent. These young kids are improving society and in future, we can get a lot of leaders among them. They have so many innovative ideas."