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Coach Vimal Kumar praises Saina Nehwal ahead of World Championships

Saina's coach Vimal Kumar believes she will perform well at the World Championships in Indonesia.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal plays a shot during a training session at the Karnataka Badminton Association

Saina Nehwal’s coach Vimal Kumar is confident of Saina’s performance at the World Championships which will be held in Indonesia between 10th and 16th August. He believes Saina is mentally tougher than her opponents at the World Championships and that would help her compete at the highest level.

TOI reported Vimal Kumar as saying, “Her (Saina) rivals are good players and very unpredictable, but Saina is mentally tougher than them. She is also doing physically well. These factors should help her to do well in the World Championships.”

The world stage was dominated by the Chinese players till October last year, but since then the Chinese haven’t been able to perform that well. Saina Nehwal (India), Carolina Marin (Spain), Tai Tzu-ying (Chinese Taipei) and Ratchanok Intanon (Thailand) are the 4 players who have won most of the international matches lately and thus this year’s World Championships is going to be an open and unpredictable event.

Mr Kumar added, “In the last one year – after the Asian Games – majority of the international games were won by four girls - Saina, Carolina Marin, Tai Tzu-ying and Ratchanok Intanon – these are the four girls that really dominated.”

I am training hard for World Championships: Saina

According to Kumar, Saina faces a tough draw as she will probably face Japan's Takahashi in the pre-quarters and fierce rival Wang Yihan in the next stage.

Vimal Kumar believes that Saina has the experience needed to soak up the pressure and perform at the highest level. He claimed that whoever wins at the World Championships will be the World No. 1 citing Saina and Marin as the two main contenders.

Saina has never gone beyond the quarter-final round at the tournament, but the current World No. 2 believes that she can continue her good run. Saina has already won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold and India Super Series this year.

“It has been a successful story getting trained under the eyes of Vimal sir. The results have been sweet as I reached the Number 1 position, though I am Number two right now. I am training hard for this event, but there is a little shoulder pain, but hope to recover soon,” said the ace Indian shuttler.

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