Column: High Toss
Saina Nehwal and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu are two Indians among the top-10 ranked women in world badminton. Add to it eight men in ...
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BIO: Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton player who is currently ranked number 2 in the world by the Badminton World Federation. Saina is the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships and the first Indian to win a medal in badminton at the Olympics. From a young age, Saina had shown potential and talent beyond her years. Being a National Junior champion, she has performed well in several major tournaments - not only national tournaments but international too. The Junior Czech Open, which took place in the year 2003, was the starting point of Saina’s path to fame, as she went on to win the tournament. The next year, she came in second at the Commonwealth Youth Games. Saina became the first player to win the Asian Satellite Badminton tournament twice - once in 2005 and then again in 2006. In 2008, Saina was named the Most Promising Player of the Year. On 21 June 2009, she became the first Indian to win a BWF Super Series title. Saina was conferred with the Arjuna award in August that same year and her coach was awarded Dronacharya award. In 2010, she was awarded yet another title - the prestigious Padma Shri. Later that year she became the recipient of the highest national sporting award given to a player - the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. On 14 October 2010, Saina claimed the gold after defeating Wong Mew Choo of Malaysia at the Commonwealth Games, marking a monumental moment in Indian badminton history. She followed the act with another gold at the Thailand Open Grand Prix on 10 June 2012. A week later she claimed the Indonesian championship for the third time. At the 2012 London Olympics, Saina Nehwal won a bronze medal and became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in badminton, and the second Indian woman to win an individual medal at the Games.