Badminton superstar Saina Nehwal first Indian woman to become World No. 1

Badminton superstar Saina Nehwal first Indian woman to become World No. 1

The feel-good factor is back. Indian sports fans, who were feeling a little low after India's exit from cricket World Cup, have got a reason to celebrate now: badminton superstar Saina Nehwal is world No. 1.

› alles over het Badminton Festival!

After going through the grueling grind for years, battling injuries and heartbreaks on the court along the way, Saina finally scaled women's badminton summit the moment Carolina Marin of Spain lost her India Open semifinal at the Siri Fort on Saturday.

"When I joined the sport, I never thought of becoming world No. 1. It was only my mom's dream who would say, 'Saina you have to get an Olympic medal for me. That's it. Not world No. 1'. But today, I feel like 'Oh my God, world No. 1. Obviously it's huge."

Wiping trickles of sweat from her brows and taking a sneak peek at her kit that has a small India flag and her name Saina stitched in gold letters, Saina tried to express her feelings after rushing into her maiden India Open final.

A few minutes ago she had completed the decimation of Yui Hashimoto of Japan 21-15, 21-11 in a new 'smashing' game that she is perfecting these days at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bangalore. Former national champion Vimal Kumar is her new career chaperone and in just seven months, Saina has managed to achieve the top rank which Padukone did 35 years ago when he won the All England title beating Indonesia's Liem Swie King.

So overwhelmed was Saina by it all that she struggled to express her emotions in words. She kept on saying: "I still can't believe it. I would like to see my name on the rankings list that will be announced next Thursday."

It would not be fair to measure Saina's achievement in just numbers as it means much more than that. What US is to the world economy, China is to world badminton - powerful, seemingly unbeatable and producing champions in a factory line. Saina dared to break that hegemony and succeeded. Her regular wins over top Chinese rivals even led to tournaments being described as a 'Saina vs China' fight.

Prakash introduced India to world badminton. Saina redefined the sport in the country and became the face of a revolution which has got the badminton world worried. She did this all alone.

Vimal Kumar recalled an incident when a sprightly 15-year-old's fierce determination caught his attention. An injury to Aparna Popat, India's No. 1 player, pushed Saina into the thick of things. She emerged victorious and India won a bronze in the mixed team event in 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

"Her work ethic is absolutely commendable. She is a delight to work with," said Kumar, beaming from ear to ear.

"It's been a long journey. I have made so many sacrifices. I have shifted from Hyderabad to Bangalore just to beat the top players. It turned out to be a good decision and I have become the world No .1 in such quick time. In between, I have won the China Open and Lucknow Open, reached the All- England final and now I am in the India Open final," said the champion fighter.

"Every player dreams of being here. Li Xuerui was there for almost one and half years. We all used to see her name there. Now I hope there will be a change in the name. It's all because of the performances I have come up with. I would like to thank Vimal sir. He is putting a lot of effort and he has lost a lot of weight," she said and the audience broke into a laughter.

Now relaxed and wisecracks springing out, Saina looked a transformed character. Siri Fort had once made Saina cry after a bitter defeat to Li Xuerui. On Saturday, it saw her laugh and smile like a child who had got her favourite teddy.

Handige informatie over badminton

In deze kennisbank over badminton vind je uitleg over badmintontermen, leggen we spelregels uit en beantwoorden we badmintonvragen.

Reacties

badmintonline.nl op YouTube

We plaatsen regelmatig mooie badmintonrally's, knappe trickshots, volledige wedstrijden en meer. Volg ons door op het logo te klikken!

Recente artikelen
Voorstel nieuw contributiesysteem per 1 januari 2020 afgewezen tijdens Jaarvergadering Badminton Nederland

Voorstel nieuw contributiesysteem per 1 januari 2020 afgewezen tijdens Jaarvergadering Badminton Nederland

Op zaterdag 15 juni jl. heeft in Vergader- en Congrescentrum De Schakel in Nijkerk de Jaarvergadering van Badminton Nederland…

17 juni 2019

Imke van der Aar: come back stronger

Imke van der Aar: come back stronger

Last period I have been struggling with my old injury again. So for now no tournaments...

14 juni 2019

Tweede ronde Spanish International 2019 voor badmintonvlogger Gayle Mahulette

Tweede ronde Spanish International 2019 voor badmintonvlogger Gayle Mahulette

Gayle Mahulette is na overtuigende winst door naar de tweede ronde bij de Spanish International 2019.

14 juni 2019

Malaysian top shuttler Lee Chong Wei retires

Malaysian top shuttler Lee Chong Wei retires

To all my family friends and fans. To everyone of you who have been a part of my life, thank you. A real big sincere thank you.

13 juni 2019

Jeugdbadmintonner Jaymie Laurens runner-up vrouwendubbel bij German Open U17

Jeugdbadmintonner Jaymie Laurens runner-up vrouwendubbel bij German Open U17

Bij de Babolat German U17 Open 2019 in Bergisch Gladbach (Duitsland) heeft Jaymie Laurens afgelopen weekend de tweede plaats…

12 juni 2019

Assistent-bondscoach Jonas Lyduch toch niet weg bij Nederlandse badmintonbond

Assistent-bondscoach Jonas Lyduch toch niet weg bij Nederlandse badmintonbond

Badminton Nederland is blij dat de Deen Jonas Lyduch besloten heeft om zijn werk voort te zetten als projectcoach van de…

12 juni 2019

Voorspeeldag Badmintonschool Barendrecht op maandagavond 1 juli 2019

Voorspeeldag Badmintonschool Barendrecht op maandagavond 1 juli 2019

Na een paar jaar van afwezigheid komt de badmintonschool weer helemaal fris terug. We gaan weer bouwen aan een sterke fundering…

12 juni 2019

FZ Forza spelers Gayle Mahulette en Joran Kweekel bij Spanish International 2019

FZ Forza spelers Gayle Mahulette en Joran Kweekel bij Spanish International 2019

Vanaf vandaag tot en met zaterdag 15 juni vindt in Madrid de Spanish International 2019 plaats. Voor Nederland komen de volgende…

12 juni 2019

Vond je dit leuk om te lezen?

Dan hebben we jouw hulp nodig! We werken 365 dagen per jaar aan foto's, video's en updates over je favoriete sport én de Nederlandse topbadmintonners. Al vanaf €0,01 kun je badmintonline.nl steunen en het kost slechts een minuutje van je tijd. Dank je voor je hulp!