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Rediff.com  » Sports » Winning gold at Olympics is still my dream: Saina Nehwal

Winning gold at Olympics is still my dream: Saina Nehwal

Last updated on: July 15, 2009 14:40 IST
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Indian sport has found a new superstar. Saina Nehwal is the toast of the nation since winning the Indonesian Open and becoming the first Indian to win a Super Series badminton event.

The nineteen-year-old's rise in the world of badminton over the last 12 months is phenomenal. She was named the world's most promising junior in 2008 and after some top-notch performances this year is perched sixth in the world rankings.

Saina, who is the only Indian to reach the singles quarter-finals at the Olympics, is also the first Indian to win the World Junior badminton championships.

What was special about Saina's Indonesian Open triumph was that she stunned two top Chinese players en route to the title.

The queen of Indian badminton spoke with Chief Correspondent Harish Kotian in Mumbai, where she was felicitated by Badminton 45 and Bombay Gymkhana for her recent accomplishments.

You created history by winning the Indonesian Open and becoming the first Indian to win a Super Series event. How long did it take for the feeling to sink in?

I still can't believe that I won the tournament.

I am the first Indian to win the Philippines Open, first Indian to win the Chinese Taipei Open, first Indian to reach the quarter-finals at the Olympics, so I am getting used to all these records of the being first Indian girl to achieve various milestones.

Saina and Pulela GopichandIt is tough to believe you achieved so much, but it is all because of the hard work I have put. I have played all these top players quite a few times and now I know how they play, so it is easier for me to beat them. But when you are playing a match, where the conditions are tough, you have to control the shuttle drift; so at that time it is tough to play and you have to be cool. If you take