Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal on Saturday expressed that she is 'definitely in the race' for the Tokyo Olympics and hasn't left her fighting spirit yet. The 30-year-old Nehwal also said that she wishes to train hard and win against the top-20 players who are in the Tokyo Olympics qualification rankings.
The bronze medalist of the 2012 London Olympics is currently at the 20th position in the current BWF Women's Singles world rankings, looking to move up a few slots to book her fourth consecutive Olympic appearance.
While speaking with the virtual interactive session hosted by the Indian Chamber of Commerce, the former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal said that she needs to get back to the momentum and win against top players ahead of the tournaments before Olympics.
“I know Olympics is in everyone’s head. It’s something very big but before that you have to think about so many tournaments. I’ve to get back to my rhythm and win against the players who are in top-20,” Saina Nehwal said.
I'm definitely in the race for the Tokyo Olympics: Saina Nehwal
The 30-year-old Saina Nehwal was set to make her return at the BWF Denmark Open that took place in October earlier. However, she pulled out of the competition and decided to start afresh in the BWF Asian Tour from January 2021. She was also a part of the Indian team for the Thomas and Uber Cup 2020 in Denmark. However, the event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic as multiple teams withdrew.
Saina Nehwal said how she is looking forward to playing several tournaments and claimed that she's looking forward to being a part of the Olympics Games.
"There’s some two-three months’ of training before that. You have to be perfectly fine and play seven-eight tournaments, after that only I will think about the Olympics. But yes, I’m definitely in the race. I want to do well and I'm working hard for that," she said.
Saina Nehwal had earlier revealed how she wanted to focus on improving her fitness ahead of the competitions in 2021 before pulling out from the Denmark Open. Giving the examples of Tennis stars Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams, she spoke on how she gains motivation from those stars and keep on improving with a positive mindset.
"I'm doing well. Injuries play a big role and that happened to me. As of now, I feel good. I can do it, I can be the best in the world. It's always been there in my head. I've to correct my niggles. Improvement is definitely happening. Let's how I play. I don't want to take that action suddenly. I want to see how badly I lose, if I'm not capable of playing anymore," she concluded.
As for Saina Nehwal, she'll be looking for full fitness and preparing for her comeback to the court in the BWF Asian tour, which kicks off in January 2021.