Beijing loss still rankles Olympic bronze medallist Saina

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Saina-Nehwal
New Delhi, Aug 10: Her bronze medal in the London Olympics has sent India into a state of frenzy, but her shocking quarterfinal defeat in her maiden appearance at the mega event in Beijing four years ago, still rankles shuttle queen Saina Nehwal. The 22-year-old Saina earned India its first Olympic medal in badminton when she clinched the bronze at the Wembley Arena in London last week.

"I am very happy that I won a medal but I can't forget that match (Beijing). It is very difficult to forget that because I could have reached the semifinals in my first attempt and I lost it. Losing in Beijing was disheartening, it was an easy match but I made it difficult," Saina said on Friday. Saina had lost in the quarterfinal of the Beijing Games despite enjoying an 11-3 lead against Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti. But she made up for that when she was adjudged the winner after a knee injury forced the world no. 2 Xin Wang of China to forfeit her bronze medal play-off match.

"I wanted to win an Olympic medal at the age of nine. I wanted the feeling of podium, the medal and finally when I got the medal round the neck, I was on the podium and everything was going like I wanted. It was extremely emotional. I started thinking about the last 13 years of my hard work and I started crying," she said. Asked if she is already thinking about the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Saina said, "Rio is still not in mind, four years is too far off. I am just thinking about the coming tournaments in the next few months. I have to make myself more fitter and stronger. "It is obviously a dream to play next Olympics. It is not easy to be at the top. I hope that I would be in good shape in the next few years," she said.

PTI

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