Queen Of Indian Badminton – Saina Nehwal!

“Nothing bigger than standing on the Olympic podium… It still seems like a dream, it is unbelievable.”

-Saina Nehwal

Hello Everyone!

I am back with our 9th individual Olympic champion. Do read my first post on Olympic Heroes of India.

well… over the years Saina has proved her metal and she has consistently and remarkably done wonders in Badminton. Watching her play  especially against Chinese players is always a treat for me.

saina1

sportsrediscovered.com

As It Happened
Saturday August 4, 2012, London

Saina won the women’s singles Bronze medal badminton match against China’s Wang Xin at the 2012 Olympics, Saturday, August 4, 2012, in London. Wang conceded the Bronze to Saina retiring hurt after she won the first game 21-18 and up in the second 1-0.

Life Of The Champion

Saina was associated with badminton since birth as both of her parents are Badminton players and champions. Born in Hisar, Haryana Saina moved to many places before shifting to Hyderabad. Now her base is Bangalore city.
Saina started with no sponsorship. There was the huge cost for kit, shoes, rackets and other equipment. She had to travel a long distance for training. There was a constant fear of failure and the lack of sponsorship did not help either. Initially she lost way too many matches. All this hardship payed of and she rose to the top of her game.

saina3

www.imagetown.in

With great coaches and mentors as Pullela Gopichand and Vijay Kumar, she managed to break the Chinese dominance. With never say die-attitude, grueling hard work, She became the first ever Indian to win an Olympic medal in Badminton sport. She has won many Super series Badminton titles as well. She has been awarded with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the highest sports award of our country.

Truly the queen of Indian Badminton!

Her first match in Rio Olympics is on 11th of August 2016.

Advertisements

Saina Nehwal is the 2016 Australian Badminton Open Champion!

The 2016 XiamenAir Australian Badminton Open was held on 7 June to 12 June 2016 at Sydney, Australia.

The great news is that our very own Saina Nehwal is the champion this year, isn’t it incredible? This is her first SuperSeries title of the year. She was the winner of this same tournament in the year 2014 as well.

SainaNehwal

She is an aggressive and a real hard working player. Point to note here is that despite being top ranked player in the world she is so down to earth. She is simple human being. I love her for that.

Do you know what she said when Virat Kohli praised her on tweeter for winning the title?

“I want to play aggressive like you!”

SainaNehwal1l

See, that hunger for the game, the hunger for improvement. That is the mark of a true champion!

Well done Saina. You make us proud.

SainaNehwal2

Winners of Australian Badminton Open 2016 are:

  • Mixed doubles: Lu Kai and  Huang Yaqiong
  • Women’s doubles: Bao Yixin and Chen Qingchen
  • Men’s doubles: Markus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo
  • Men’s single: Hans-Kristian Vittinghus
  • Women’s single: Saina Nehwal

image source: Australian open official site

2016 Indonesia Super Series Premier goes to Lee Chong Wei and Tai Tzu-ying!

The recently concluded and one of the bankable Badminton Super Series Premier Indonesia Open goes to 6th time winner Lee Chong Wei and First time for the 21 years Chinese Taipei Tai Tzu-ying.

indonesiaOpen

We all know what a fantastic player Lee is! Tai Tzu-ying is a firefighter. That is the reason she has 6-5 win-loss record against our very own Saina Nehwal. I have seen Saina struggling against her sometimes but the good news is that this tournament has been won by Saina for the record 3 times. If I remember correctly I think this was her first Super series Premier title back in the year 2009.

Finals_Tai-Tzu-Ying-1-613x290

bwfsuperseries.com

I am so happy for Lee. He is been a great form since last year and I do hope he continues to do so. I love watching him play. He is so light on his feet and has mastered all the text book strokes.

BADMINTON MALAYSIA OPEN 2016 / LEE CHONG WEI

 

Here are the winners from doubles category:

  • Women’s doubles – Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi
  • Men’s doubles -Lee Yong-dae and Yoo Yen-seong
  • Mixed doubles – Xu Chen and Ma Jin

Read more about the BWF super series tournaments here.

Olympic Heroes of India

There are 70 days to go for the world’s greatest sports extravaganza to begin. So here I want to attempt to write about our own Olympic heroes.

There will be series of posts based on an individual Olympic medalist. I will keep you posted. For now let’s look back at the history of our Olympic performance till now.

To understand what these great men and women Olympian champions of India have achieved requires a quick look at history. Hockey was the only team event where India has done consistently well. But when it comes to the Individual events it took more than a century to win an individual Gold medal for India. Finally Abhinav Bindra has done it at 2008 Beijing Olympics. But again he is the lone sailor. No other Indian has won an Olympic Gold medal yet.

The gala event of Olympics happens once after every 4 years.  A champion goes through grinding hard work, the perseverance, and conquering all financial and mental troubles to achieve that one medal. I feel these champions are real mad. Without madness it is simply not possible to win.  They run, they shoot, they lift weight, they walk, run more and they do it every day. It is incredible. They live for that single moment.

olympians

Since the commencing of the Olympic Games, India has won a total 13 Individual medals. Wrestler Khashaba Jadhav has won the first Bronze for India in the year 1952. Then it took more than 40 years to win individual medal for the second time. Tennis player Leander has achieved this feet; the year was 1996. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian woman to win the medal at Sydney Olympics in 2000.

In the recent London Olympics India has done its best by wining 6 medals in individual sports. This is the greatest performance of our country in Olympics so far. Let’s be positive and hope to do one step better at Rio 2016 Olympics!

 

 

Second Bronze win for Indian Women’s Badminton team at Uber Cup!

Our girls did it again!

Indian Women’s Badminton team consisting of Star Players Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Jwala Gutta, N Sikki Reddy and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde stormed in to Uber Cup semifinal for the second time. In the semifinal clash they lost to eventual champion China. Having won the Bronze in 2014 edition of Uber cup, this is the second Bronze girls got home.

Saina-Uber_2858241f

So let us see more about Uber Cup. When I heard about this event for the very first time, I was wondering who and when and why started this event?

Well… Former British player Betty Uber wanted to have this all women players playing event based on the similar idea and format of Thomas cup (This event is for men’s Badminton players). So this is how it was named after her. The first edition was held in the year 1956 at England. Since then after every two years the event happens.

In 2016 edition of Uber Cup, India was placed in Group D along with Japan, Germany and Australia. In Group stage matches Indian Women had a fantastic 5-0 score against Germany and Australia. They were narrowly lost by 2-3 to Japan.

In the Quarterfinal against Thailand it was smooth sailing as the score line was 3-1.

In the Semifinal against China, it was one sided affair as both Saina and P V Sindhu, along with doubles players Jwala Gutta and Sikki Reddy all lost to mighty Chinese players.

Nevertheless this is a fantastic win and a big achievement for our country, for our Badminton!

Kudos to you girls!!

Image credit : BWF site

No Indian to hold the Siri Fort at Delhi, India Open 2016!

Well… Last year around this time at Delhi we had our very own men and women’s Champions. Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal were fell short to defend their respective titles this year.

This edition of India open had quite a few upsets. Star players Lin Dan and Lee Chong Wei bowed out during the initial stage of the tournament. Women’s doubles pair from Denmark Christiana Pedersen and her partner Kamillia lost in tough 3 game match to the eventual champions.

The regaining Destination Dubai masters winner Japanese Kento Momota was happy to clinch the men’s single title performing better than Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen in the final. The score was 21-15, 21-18

kento-momota-data.jpg

Thai sensation Ratchanok Intanon won the title for the record 2nd time by out casting Chinese Li Xuerui. Ratchanok’s play was superb and yet simple. With great confidence and skills Ratchanok beat Xuerui in two straight but tough games in the women’s final.

It was Li Xuerui the former world number one and Olympic gold winner, who showed the way out to Saina Nehwal in the quarterfinal. It was brutal match for Saina. It was heart breaking to watch the match which lasted more than 80 minutes. Saina lost in a tough 3 games by 20-22, 21-17, 19-21.

Recent All England Women’s Champions from Japan Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi got hold of the title by beating their own country women Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao.

135247754_14596848328371n.jpg

It was quite interesting to see that this Japanese pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi beat the Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii and Nitya Krishinda Maheswari (she is my favorite doubles playerJ) by 18-21, 21-19, 21-23 in a hard fought semifinal match which lasted over 90 minutes.

Indonesian men’s doubles pair of Gideon Markus Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo clinched the title with easy win over pair from their own country. On their way to the championship they managed to beat the Chinese world number one pair Chai Biao and Hong Wei.

kai Lu and Huang Yaqiong of China managed to bag the mixed doubles title.

f6a4b094847c43d689647e342c13934e.jpg

Overall, it was great event not dominated by single country.