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There’s no gain without pain: Saina

Badminton champ Saina Nehwal fears no one – except her tough Chinese opponents in the game! A grinding exercise and stamina-building schedule keeps her fit and charged up

education Updated: Feb 08, 2012 11:06 IST
Gauri Kohli
Gauri Kohli
Hindustan Times

Busy preparing for the London Olympics scheduled to take place in July this year, the badminton champ talks about her daily clockwork, fitness regime… and the people she fears most:

I wake up between 6.30 am and 7 am daily, except on Sundays. I begin my day with a light breakfast of bananas and milk. I then head for the courts to work out and play under the guidance of my coaches. They have a specific schedule for stamina building, endurance and game skills. I take some rest around 11 am. After taking a bath and lunch at 12.30 or 1 pm, I take a small nap.

I hit the courts again in the afternoon and practice badminton from 3.30 pm till 7 pm for specific training.

I return home around 7.30 pm and get ready for dinner.

I’m very conscious about my fat, calcium, carbohydrate and protein intake. I take these under the guidance of sports medicine specialists. Despite my hectic schedule, I try to take time out for relaxation and watch TV before going to sleep at 10pm. Except on Sundays, I avoid having outside food. I eat lots of seasonal fruits and don’t worry too much about the game.

I usually avoid taking any kind of medicine – sometimes even when I am ill. During school games, I used to take and eat food from local hotels/dhabas, including items such as milkshakes, butter, paneer, curd etc every day. My aim is to give my 100%. The rest I leave to luck and God’s mercy! I believe there’s no gain without pain and I don’t believe in short gains. I have full faith in my strength and ability and – except for a few players from China – don’t fear anyone. Currently, I’m ranked No 4 in the world; the three players ahead of me and two behind me on the rankings are all Chinese.

First Published: Jan 31, 2012 13:07 IST