Saina getting fit for Rio

Considering her array of achievements in 2015—she won the India Open Super Series title to become World No. 1 and bagged the prestigious All England and World championships silver medal—Saina stands a good chance to win gold in Rio.

Saina Nehwal, despite not being completely fit, has pulled off two matches for Awadhe Warriors.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

World No. 2 shuttler Saina Nehwal is so preoccupied with the strengthening and recovery of a foot injury that she does not wish to think about the Rio Olympics.

Considering her array of achievements in 2015—she won the India Open Super Series title to become World No. 1 and bagged the prestigious All England and World championships silver medal—Saina stands a good chance to win gold in Rio.

However, the 25-year-old Hyderabadi, who won two home matches for Awadhe Warriors in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) here, did not want to commit anything about her full-fledged comeback to competitive badminton.

“Right now I cannot say anything. It will not be right to say anything about any tournament. First of all, I have to make myself strong and fit and then I can think of what I can do in tournaments. I am happy that I am able to play in the PBL even without training. I am in a bad shape, but I am happy to pull off some matches,” said Saina during an interaction following Warriors' victory over Bengaluru Topguns here.

Saina, who skipped Warriors' first match against Mumbai Rockets, was delighted to come back after a three-week break and beat Delhi Acers’ P. C. Thulasi comfortably. Saina, however, had a tough time against Topguns’ Suo Di before she could win the three-game affair.

“Even though I was out of touch, because of my strengthening and gym workout my body was in some condition to play. In the third game (against Suo Di), I got back my touch and could move well. Otherwise, my movements were sluggish,” said Saina.

Saina said she would have a look at her fitness before deciding whether to play in the remaining PBL matches and the upcoming Syed Modi Grand Prix later this month. “The injury gets affected when you play tough matches...Still, it is more stable now. Let’s see how it develops in the next few days.”

Saina said since the Olympics is scheduled to be held in August there was a lot of time left to prepare for the mega event.

Nevertheless, she was hopeful of the Indian shuttlers’ good show in Rio. “It depends on many things – fitness and form of each player and the draw. The way all the players are playing I am sure we will perform well,” she said.