Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal believes she is ‘definitely in the race’ for Tokyo Olympics

I can see great examples in Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Serena doing so well; I'm a fighter, and I will get back: Saina Nehwal

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Saina Nehwal Denmark Open
Image credits: DNA, AFP | Saina Nehwal

India’s star badminton player Saina Nehwal said that she is preparing ahead of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Nehwal believes that she is ‘definitely in the race’ for the mega-event but, she also has to get her rhythm back.

The 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist, recently slipped to the 22nd in Badminton World Federation’s Tokyo Olympics qualification rankings. Moreover, the 30-year old has struggled with niggles before returning to action during next year’s Asian Tour.

“I know the Olympics is in everyone’s head. It’s something very big but, before that, you have to think about so many tournaments. I’ve to get back to my rhythm and win against the players who are in top-20,” Nehwal said in a virtual interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce.

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“There’s some two-three months’ of training before that. You have to be perfectly fine and play seven-eight tournaments after that only I will think about the Olympics. But yes, I’m definitely in the race. I want to do well, and I’m working hard for that.”

Saina derives inspiration from several 30+ aged athletes

Saina Nehwal won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics

The ace shuttler cited the examples of Tennis stars Roger Feder, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams. Saina said that she derives inspiration from these 30+ aged stars that are still going on in their field.

“I can see great examples in Djokovic, Federer, Nadal, Serena doing so well. Why not you have to see how it goes? I’m a fighter, and I will get back. When he can do it, why can’t I? Yes, there were times when I felt I have to ‘stop playing’ and ‘I can’t win anymore’. But then I thought I could push it,” she added.

“I love to fight. What will I do sitting at home! This is my life, this is my job.”

“I’m doing well. Injuries play a big role, and that happened to me. As of now, I feel good. I can do it, I can be the best in the world. It’s always been there in my head. I’ve to correct my niggles. Improvement is happening. Let’s how I play. I don’t want to take that action suddenly. I want to see how badly I lose, if I’m not capable of playing anymore,” she concluded.

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