Sunday, May 28, 2006

Saina says thank you!

Saina Nehawal, the 16 year old badminton hopeful won a 4 star grand prix tournament yesterday. She won 4 rounds of which 3 rounds were against players seeded higher than her. She even beat world no:4 ranking Xu Huaiwen of Germany(yes, the chinese continue to immigrate to get to play for some country!) en route to the final. To explain to people who question why this is a big deal... The last best talent in ladies in this sport from India was Aparna Popat. He reached a career high No:16 and she had won just one 2 star grand prix tournament. If I dare to indulge in some predictions and extrapolations here, I think this teenager can hit the top 10. She is coached by a very good shuttler, Pulella Gopichand, who climbed all the way up to the 7th ranking in the world and an All England crown.

Sure badminton does not have as much money as tennis and is definitely less glamorous, also that its played mainly by asian countries and parts of europe and hence gets a lot less media footage(this needs US to get in). But this lady is sure going to given Sania a run to the bank(atleast I hope so). Saina doesn't show off the aggressive attitude as much as sania and this is good! Heres wishing the very best to Saina in the years to come....

BTW, the thanks from Saina was for the Indian cricket team which again lost abysmally to a mediocre but newly rejuvenated Windies! The almost close to blackwash performance has ensured that they don't hog the media limelight and Saina has risen from the customary 4x6 footage in Times Of India to front page in the sports section and also the main page! At least there is some good coming from the Indian cricket teams defeat!!

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