Sunday, 12 June 2016

Saina Nehwal

I started typing Saina’s name but I had a typo and typed Sania’s name by mistake. These two sportswomen of India have grabbed the attention of the sports loving citizens of India in the last few years and how. But this write up is about Saina Nehwal who won the Badminton Australian Open today defeating two Chinese players in the semi finals and finals. Last year was quite a nightmare for her and I had the feeling that she is finished. Though  she reached the semifinals and finals of quite a few tournaments, she was faltering. But I am happy to be proved wrong. She has made a comeback and how. What she has achieved is incredible and is all due to her hard work  but more due to her will power. This grit and determination was always in evidence throughout her distinguished career, when she has made umpteen comebacks. A few years back, this was not possible for the Indian sportsmen and women who were happy to just represent the country in sporting events and take the various incentives on offer like steady jobs and were not really interested in excelling at their sports, especially at world events like the Olympics. A representation on behalf of India was enough for them. But out of the cricket field, it was these two ladies who changed this perception. Especially Saina, since she excelled at singles in badminton, which has always been dominated first by the Chinese, then the Indonesians followed by the Japanese and Koreans. Indian challenge started and ended with that great and humble sportsman, Prakash Padukone, who won the All England Championship. Though there were later Champions like Gopichand there was no prominent sportswoman in Indian Badminton. But Saina changed all that. Let us celebrate this woman power of India and cherish this win for a long time to come. She represents the girl child who continues to make us Indians proud.
Yatindra Tawde

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