Ranked World’s Number 9 ace shuttler by the Badminton World Federation, Saina Nehwal is a splendidly talented badminton player with an irresistible game which makes her one of the best players in the game today. The first Indian woman to once hold the No.1 ranking, Nehwal’s list of achievements is never-ending. We present you with some sensational facts about her and her career.
- She was born in Hisar on March 17, 1990 and attended Campus School CCS HAU, Hisar. Her parents, Harvir Singh and Usha Nehwal were also state badminton champions in Haryana.
- Badminton was not her first passion. Saina was an excellent karate player in which she holds a brown belt.
- The 23 international titles she holds to her name today are credit to the big names she been coached by. She was coached by the Dronacharya Award winner SM Arif at the beginning of her career. Saina’s coach is Pullela Gopichand.
- Came in the limelight when she won the under-19 national championship in 2006. She created history by becoming the first player to win the Asian Satellite Badminton tournament twice. Also became the first woman from Asia to win a 4-star event in the same year after she won the Philippines Open. There was no stopping her beyond amazing career from there on as she went on to dominate the world stage and lift the Indian flag high in the sport of badminton.
- Announced herself on the world stage after she went on to win some of the biggest titles. She won the Singapore Open super series and the Hong Kong super series in 2010 and the Indonesian championship in 2012. Her biggest achievement came in 2014 when she won the bronze at the London Olympics on the back of terrific performances.
- She became the first Indian women to be ranked number one in the Badminton World Federation in the Women’s Singles category. Was also the first Indian woman to win the Junior Badminton Championship and to win a Super Series tournament after she won the Indonesia Open.
- Was conferred with the Arjuna Award in the year 2009, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Padma Shri award in 2010. She was awarded Padma Bhushan in 2016.
- She also plays for Hyderabad in the Indian Badminton League. Features in many endorsements. Has also written her autobiography to inspire more women to take up sports.
Recommended Reading: Sarfaraz Khan: The SurpriseYoungster Retained By Royal Challengers Bangalore