Saina Nehwal’s comeback from her knee injury has been impressive and inspiring. Down and out after her Rio Olympics exit, not many thought Saina could play at the same level as before. But she worked on her rehabilitation, did not rush the comeback and got enough match practice before the mega event.
Saina secured the bronze medal in the recently concluded World Championships, exceeding her own expectations and finishing on the podium along with silver medalist PV Sindhu.
“It is wonderful to win a medal. It (winning a medal) becomes prestigious in World Championship or Olympics. I am lucky to have won a silver in 2015 and a bronze in 2017,” Saina told PTI.
“I liked the medal (more) as it came after I met with a career-threatening injury,” she added.
Saina expressed her gratitude towards coach Vimal Kumar, who worked day in and day out to make sure that Saina was fit and ready for the World Championships.
“(In September last year) after major ortho surgery for a week, physios Chandan Poddar and Arvind Nigam helped me; then my coach Vimal sir helped me slowly to come to the position where I am,” Saina said
“I played tournament in November in China and lost in the first round. But soon I recovered well and played Macau Open and Hong Kong Open a week later and reached QF (Quarter Finals) of both the tournaments.
“I won Malaysia Open Gold and reached quarterfinals at India open, Indonesia open and Australia open and now this medal in World Championship, it is quite satisfying,” she added.
Saina then called for better scheduling, saying that she could have won against Okuhara had the schedule been a little favourable.
“If scheduling is done properly, the player who played a big match in the late previous evening, might get some rest. I hope I will work on this issue in future too,” she said.
Saina would next feature in the Japan Open