Saina Nehwal celebrates after wining the match against Chinese Xin Wang during the Women,s Singles Bronze Medal match at Wembley Arena on Saturday. PTI Photo/Manvender Vashist
“The medal is God’s gift to Saina,” said Harvir Singh Nehwal, a Hyderabad-based scientist after seeing Wang Xin of China hobble out of the court on Saturday evening.
It meant his daughter Saina had won bronze at the London Olympics, the first Indian badminton player to win a medal at the Games.
“She had worked very hard for it,” he said adding that she had sacrificed her education and refused endorsements to completely focus on the game.
He said he was confident that Saina, who was down by a game when the Chinese retired, would have eventually won if the match had gone the distance. “Her opponent wasn’t as strong as the one in the semi-final on Friday. Saina had defeated her twice in the past,” he added.
“Saina was playing very well and was stretching the game. Her opponent was very exhausted by the end of the last 10 points of the first game,” he said.
“She had her sight firmly on the gold medal and I was confident that she would not come back empty handed," he said. “If she didn’t get this medal it would have been very bad for her. Luck was with Saina today and I am very thankful to god for it,” the senior Nehwal said.