Former India badminton coach Vimal Kumar reckons a “robust” journey awaits Saina Nehwal, who will want to target particular tournaments to prolong her profession after the COVID-19 pandemic shattered her Tokyo Olympics goals.
Battling accidents and detached type, Saina, 31, couldn’t make her fourth Olympics after the game’s governing physique, BWF, cancelled the final three qualifiers due to the pandemic.
“She got here into the limelight in 2005-06 and has been a giant pattern setter after Prakash Padukone. She has been constant, performed a few years and it’s unhappy that she couldn’t qualify this 12 months. I suppose she has been a bit unfortunate within the final two Video games,” Vimal informed PTI.
Vimal, who had guided Saina to the world primary rating, feels the London Olympics bronze medallist can serve Indian badminton for a number of years, offered she plans issues higher and takes care of her physique.
“She can proceed for few years however it’s going to be robust. She has to plan issues higher, target particular tournaments and work in the direction of it.
“Together with her expertise she can nonetheless beat the very best gamers however she shouldn’t take a look at rating as a result of it is going to be troublesome to play the circuit and in addition keep damage free.”
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The shuttler has claimed over 24 worldwide titles, together with 11 Superseries crowns in a stellar profession, moreover successful a silver and bronze on the World Championships and a bronze at 2012 London Video games.
Saina, who had reached the quarterfinals on the Beijing Video games, suffered a career-threatening knee damage simply days forward of the 2016 Rio Olympics, which noticed her bow out within the second spherical.
A decided Saina, nevertheless, returned to seize her second Commonwealth Video games gold in 2018 and remained on target for a Tokyo berth earlier than slipping within the final two years.
Is it potential to chase one other Olympics?
“It is extremely troublesome. She has been getting injured persistently. I dont know, it’s a robust process and, to be sincere, Olympics shouldn’t be the precedence anymore,” Vimal mentioned.
“Her efficiency has seen a gradual decline since January 2019 when she gained the Indonesia last after Carolina Marin received injured. After that she has not completed something exceptional. After all, it was all COVID for many elements.”
Vimal feels it can all depend upon her starvation to succeed within the sport which she has been taking part in for greater than 15 years.
“No main adjustments can be made at this stage. She has to deal with her physique. Sports activities is hard, it’s troublesome for physique to take that kind of depth,” he mentioned.
“She remains to be higher than remainder of the younger gamers however now the main focus can be on children. She may have to handle, look to play the circuit on personal expense, if she nonetheless has that willingness and starvation.
“She has (Parupalli) Kashyap as her coach now. If she can do all that, she can proceed to play for a few years not less than, and that can be good for different Indian gamers as properly.”