Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal has stated that maintaining her fitness for international competitions and events scheduled for next year is her primary focus ahead of securing a qualification spot for the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
The 2012 London Olympic bronze medalist occupies the 22nd spot in the current BWF Women's Singles world rankings and has to move up a few spots to reach within the top 13 to seal her fourth consecutive Olympic Games appearance.
In an interview with IANS, Saina Nehwal spoke about her focus on improving her fitness and managing injuries to stay ready for the competitions scheduled for next year.
"I am only trying to improve my fitness and look after my injuries during this period and I look forward to doing well in competitions. I am not thinking about qualifying for the Olympics," said Saina Nehwal.
Saina Nehwal withdrew from the upcoming Denmark Open and will return to action next year
The former World No.1 shuttler was slated to make an appearance at the BWF Denmark Open scheduled later this month. However, she pulled out of the tournament and decided to begin her season in January 2021.
She was also a part of the Indian team for the Uber Cup, also scheduled in Denmark, but the BWF indefinitely postponed the tournament to next year due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 crisis in the country.
"In my case, I just didn't feel I needed to go all the way for one tournament; the ranking points won't count towards Olympic qualification as of now. So I had a few reasons. Also, the BWF left the decision to individual athletes to take a call, so they did the best they could," Saina Nehwal explained.
Saina Nehwal will continue to train to get back to prime fitness and begin competing when the BWF Asian tour kicks off in January 2021.