Capable players should get government scheme: Saina Nehwal

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • Updated: May 08, 2015 17:25 IST

Thanking the government for lending a helping hand to the country's top sportspersons, India's champion shuttler Saina Nehwal hopes the establishment will now put its weight behind upcoming talents striving to make a mark globally.

Asked if the government can try helping those who are beginning to shine, apart form the elite athletes, the world number 2 shuttler Saina, who was on Friday given a cash award of 25 lakhs by the ministry, responded in positive.

"Players who are capable of doing well in any international events, there names should be in the government scheme. I must say the government is also giving a lot of support to sportspersons," Saina said when asked about the government's TOP (Target Olympic Podium) scheme.

The recent months had been very fruitful for Saina and the Hyderabad-based shuttler said she was looking forward to winning more titles.

"My job is to give my best and not think about rankings. Lots of surprises were in store for me this year, which I didn't expect," Saina said on the sidelines of the Times Of India Sports Award.

"The last one year was a special experience, scaling the world number one ranking, reaching the finals of All England Championships, winning the India Open and China Open. I just want to stay focussed. The performance has motivated me to do better.

"I am a very emotional person and staying at the top is not easy. I have more dreams that I want to achieve," said the player who was at the top of world ranking for two brief stints recently.

Talking about the Sudhirman Cup, starting on Sunday, Saina said India was determined to improve their record in the prestigious tournament.

"It's about the team. I hope to do well in the Sudhirman Cup. We hardly play team event."

"I will strive to maintain my fitness, that is the key. There are ups and downs and they are part of life. The challenge is how to keep myself injury-free, I will focus on training right now," Saina said.

Speaking about her partnership with the Bangalore-based coach Vimal Kumar, the 25-year-old shuttler said, "It has been good working with Vimal sir. I have won good titles after joining him. My movements on the court improved, we also focused on working on different strokes."

Compatriot PV Sindhu, coming back after an injury, said she was training for the upcoming tournaments.

"I have been practicing hard for coming tournaments, India is doing very well now a days. It's not easy to come back from injuries. On return I played in the Asian Championships and lost in the quarters. I am trying to get better, perform and win," the soft-spoken 19-year-old ace shuttler said.

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