On account of International Women’s day, team Urban Tree has meticulously chosen some great women achievers of our country. As we celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women on March 8, this is a series of blogs that feature those strong women of India who have made their way up to become successful by breaking stereotypes!
Saina Nehwal is the first Indian badminton player to win a medal in badminton at the Olympics by winning bronze at the London Olympics in 2012. She is the first to win the World Junior Badminton Championships as well as the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament. Sania is also supported by the Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation that aims to support athletes that have the potential to win the Olympic Gold.
Saina was born in a Jat family at Hisar where she completed the first few years of schooling. Their family shifted and is now settled in Hyderabad and Telangana. Her love for badminton can be traced back to her parents who were former State Badminton winners themselves. Her father, Harvir Singh worked in CCS HAU, Hisar. Nehwal also holds a brown belt in Karate and did her XII in St. Anns College Mehdipatnam Hyderabad. With the backing of her family behind her, she began to pursue badminton at the young age of eight.
She was trained by S. M. Arif a Dronacharya Award and then was coached by Pullela Gopichand till 2014 September. She is now coached by the former Indian badminton champion as well as national coach Vimal Kumar.
After a strict fitness regime Nehwal proved her mettle in 2006 when she became the champion in the under 19 National Champion followed by victory at the prestigious Asian Satellite Badminton Tournament. She became the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships in 2008. In 2009 she became the first Indian to have won the most prominent badminton series of the whole world, the Indonesian Open. She also reached the quarterfinals of the world championship. Saina was later honored with the Arjuna award.
During the London Olympics of 2012 she was the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton by taking bronze at the mega event. To date she has won several trophies, accolades and rewards. In 2014 Saina won the Women’s Singles of the India Open Grand Prix Gold Tournament in January. This was followed by the Australian Super Series in June. Now she is ranked as the world No. 6 badminton player.
One of her most well known quotes are “My philosophy is to not be scared of anyone. If i play well, great; if I don’t, I learn from the match and move.”
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