Saina Nehwal wins 'Comeback of the Year' award at Indian Sports Honours
What's the story?
On Saturday, star shuttler Saina Nehwal was felicitated at the Indian Sports Honours night with the "Comeback of the Year" award at the star-studded gala in Mumbai.
The same was confirmed by a video on social media which features her giving an acceptance speech after receiving the award.
In case you didn't know
Saina Nehwal had been struggling with knee-related injury since the Rio Olympics in 2016. She exited the Olympics in the group stage and endured a difficult few months after the set back,
Since then, however, Nehwal has stepped up and come back with vengeance in 2017, winning the Malaysia Masters title, a World Championships bronze and the recently concluded Senior National Badminton Championships.
The heart of the matter
Saina Nehwal was awarded the "Comeback of the Year" award ahead of other nominees like Amit Rohidas (Hockey), Kedar Jadhav (Cricket) and Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi). The competition was tough as the aforementioned athletes had gritty comeback tales of their own.
In August, Saina grabbed her second consecutive medal at the World Badminton Championships held in Glasgow, Scotland. She lost a three-set thriller in the semifinal against Japanese opponent and eventual gold medalist Nozomi Okuhara. This was a record-breaking seventh consecutive quarter-final appearance for the Indian ace shuttler.
The awards were decided on the basis of fan votes on the Facebook page of the Indian Sports Honours and it was the shuttler who finished on top ahead of the other three nominees.
After the National Championships, now Saina will return to the international circuit and will likely be seen on the court again at the China Open Super Series Premier, which starts on November 14.
Despite a tough competition from the likes of Ajay Thakur, who came back strong in the recently conclude Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 with a great individual showing and Kedar Jadhav, who has become a fixture in the Indian Cricket team after toiling for long on the Ranji circuit, Saina Nehwal emerged as the deserved winner.