Saina, Mary Kom emphasise on the need to embrace challenges in life to move forward

Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom, both achievers in their own field, said that they have succeeded because they took on the challenges life threw at them without blinking to emerge triumphantly.

Saina (left) and Mary Kom with the media on Sunday during the second edition of Fit Families Fest, organised by Herbalife Nutrition India in Pune.   -  Jignesh Mistry

Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom, both achievers in their own field, said that they have succeeded because they took on the challenges life threw at them without blinking to emerge triumphantly.

Interacting with the media on Sunday during the second edition of Fit Families Fest, organised by Herbalife Nutrition India, here, on Sunday, they emphasised the need to embrace challenges to move forward in life.

The badminton star said that after the knee surgery [in August 2016], she never thought that she would be able to make a quick recovery. “Then, I went on to win a medal [a bronze each] in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Asian championships and the Asian Games. There are going to be tough times in everybody’s life. That’s the challenge you have to fight. I love the challenge and I am enjoying it,” said the 28-year-old Olympic bronze medalist, who is currently ranked 11 in the world.

Even though Mary Kom hasn't had any major injury problems, she is juggling so many things. The five-time World champion is a Rajya Sabha MP, a mother to three sons and is running a boxing academy in Imphal besides looking after herself.  Refusing to look at 2020 Olympics, she said that her focus at the moment is Elite World boxing championship scheduled in November this month in New Delhi. “[I am] looking for the sixth title. Everyone is dreaming.  Without any challenge how can we aim? I am confident,” said the 35-year-old.

READ: Lakshya Sen to lead India's challenge at World Junior Badminton Championships

Mary Kom lauded Boxing Federation of India under Ajay Singh for sending boxers for more tournaments abroad. According to the Olympic bronze medallist, there is a clear system for sending a particular group of boxers with a particular weight category to a particular tournament. "Everything is done with a lot of planning,” she said.

Saina said that with the help of coach Gopi Chand and her fiance P. Kashyap, she did quite a few corrections in her game during the Asian Games in Jakarta, which involved her movements. "Both their inputs were of a big help in me bagging a bronze in Asian Games," she said.

On her poor (5-12) head-head record against World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying, Saina said that she is in the process of decoding Tai. "It is a big challenge. She has so many strokes. It is very tough. You have to be the best in fitness," said Saina.

With Roger Federer and Lee Chong Wei for inspiration, Saina said that she will continue to play as long as she is able to bag medals. "As long as medals are coming, I will push my body. Injuries are part of everyone’s life. Nobody is winning 12 tournaments a year. Only two players are winning, Carolina [Marin] and Tai [Tzu Ying]. Whoever is fit will win. You have to just wait for your time. I can [also] win. You have to think when players like Roger [Federer] and Lee Chong Wei are [still] playing, how can you just give it up like that? Find a way to correct it [injury],” she said.