Saina Nehwal to enjoy sortie in IAF aircraft

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Saina Nehwal
New Delhi, Sept 22: The Indian Air Force is planning to fly ace shuttler and Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal in its Kiran Mk II jet trainer at its officers' training academy in Dundigul in Andhra Pradesh.

During her proposed visit next week, Nehwal will also play matches with the best of badminton players of the Air Force Academy there, IAF officials said here.

The plan is to take her on a sortie in the Kiran Mk II aircraft, which is being used by the Air Force to train its rookie pilots before they move to fly other fighter and transport aircraft, they said.

The visit is aimed at inspiring the young cadets at the academy to do hard work to achieve their goals in life in the service of the nation, they said.

Saina's visit to the cradle of the IAF coincides with the sports week of the academy.

In recent years, the IAF has been honouring sportspersons for their achievements in their respective fields and has granted them honorary ranks also.

Champion batsman Sachin Tendulkar was made an honorary Group Captain by the IAF last year for his achievements and along with Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, was offered a sortie in frontline fighter aircraft SU-30MKI.

However, the offer made by the then IAF Chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik has not been availed by the two cricketers so far.

PTI

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