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Verve People
August 13, 2015

Verve’s Power Women 2015: Saina Nehwal

Image Courtesy: Getty Images and Instagram

“I cannot miss a single day of training,” Saina Nehwal tells us what it takes to be on top

For the 25-year-old sportsperson, the last few months have been dotted with landmark tournaments. In March, she became the first Indian girl to reach the finals of the All-England World Championships — but the title eluded her. Putting the disappointment of that loss behind her, Saina Nehwal smashed her way to a power finish at the India Open BWF Super Series, grabbing the top spot in women’s badminton along the way. And yet, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee, who chronicled her journey in her autobiography Playing to Win, My Life On and Off Court, continues to remain simple and grounded, both in her personal and professional space.

THE HIGH OF BEING NO 1: “It is a great feeling. It is something that I have achieved after a long struggle, thanks to God, my parents, coaches and fans.”

TOP SPOT PRESSURES: “To be No 1 is just one step. Now, it will need a lot of dedication and hard work on my part to maintain it.”

ON THE JOURNEY SO FAR: “I try to be sincere and disciplined. My journey has called for a lot of effort, struggle and hard work — but these are needed to succeed in any field. I have no regrets for the long hours I have put in. I have not lost anything; in fact, I have gained a lot.”

THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING FOCUSSED: “It is my duty to do better and better in my field — at the end of the day my performance is my bread-earner and it also helps me make my name in society.”

THE TOUGH TIMES: “Even when things are not going well, I go on doing my best. Hard work is always rewarded, sooner or later.”

ON A CHEAT DAY: “When I am not playing, it does not mean that I am relaxing or chatting idly. I train around seven to eight hours every day except on Sundays. My routine on non-tournament days is harder. I cannot miss a single day of training.”

WHILE TRAVELLING… “I read the latest magazines; I listen to songs on my iPod or watch movies on my laptop. Once I reach my destination, training takes over.”

ON MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS: “Is it possible to think of friends when you are training for most part of the day?”

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