Saina eyes Commonwealth Games medal

The quarter-final ouster in World Championship is a thing of past for ace shuttler Saina Nehwal whose only target is now to clinch a medal for the country in next month’s Commonwealth Games to be held in Delhi.

"My aim is to win a medal for the country at the Commonwealth Games," the shuttler said even as she went into intense preparations at the Pullela Gopichand-Nimmagadda Foundation Badminton Academy at Gachibowli here.

"I have four more weeks for that (Commonwealth Games). This time I will be preparing even more harder, because it’s happening in India. It’s a big tournament. I am focusing on my game and I have to win a medal. Let’s see what happens finally," the World Number 3 Saina said.

"For me it’s only preparations now for doing well in the Commonwealth Games," she added. Asked about her experience at the World Championship in Paris, where she lost to Chinese Shixian Wang, the 20-year-old said: "I think I was not moving quite well on that day. It was really a slow game for me, though I gave her a tough fight.

"But it happens. When you play at that level you lose badly sometimes. I was really disappointed at the loss. I thought the way I played in the last few tournaments compared to that it was a bit slower this time," she pointed out, adding "I could have reached the semi-finals."

"I need to work more on my movements and also on my mental strength, because in this match I noticed that I gave up some points. I didn’t even think I will do such kind of silly mistakes. May be next time I will overcome (mistakes)," the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee noted.

Saina, who slipped one spot from her career-best position of world number two in the latest international badminton rankings, observed: "No regrets. I have been playing very well. Last two years have been fantastic. I am sure the rest of the year will be a very good one for me."

Chief national coach and Saina’s mentor Pullela Gopichand, when asked about his disciple’s performance in the World Championship, remarked: "Yes, a little disappointment but we have to move on."

"I think there are lessons to be learnt. The sooner we learn the better it is. We have big tournaments coming up with the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi from October 3 before the Asian Games and we need to get over it (loss at World Championships) as quickly as there is not enough time. We have to get back to work and make the amends quickly to get results," Gopichand added.(PTI)


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