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Saina Nehwal: What Dedication Can Do (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 December 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 1412
 
My Mentor: Pullela Gopichand
How long have you known him since? 2004
How did you get in touch with him? He opened the Gopichand Badminton Academy. I was 13 when I joined it.
How has he improved your skills: Improved my strokes, speed and mental fitness. Within a year I was playing international tournaments.
Advice that has stayed with you: Stay focussed and don’t get carried away.

Saina Nehwal is India’s top-ranked badminton player and is World Number 2. She won three Super Series tournaments this year: Singapore, Indonesia and most recently in Hong Kong. She won the gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi
In another age, in another life Saina Nehwal would have been a Spartan warrior. Spartans were taught to fight till they died, right from the time they were born. In 480 B.C. a 1,000-strong army of Greeks led by 300 Spartans defended the pass of Thermopylae against a Persian Army that was at least ten times that size.

Nehwal would have fit right in with the best of them. Her dedication to her craft is unrelenting. She began training when she was eight and has been at it for the past 12 years. Her goal in life: An Olympic gold. “I can’t believe I lost the Olympic gold in 2008,” she says, the pain on her face palpable.
Nehwal’s doing everything in her power to get hold of one. She trains for over ten hours a day. She doesn’t have a life outside of badminton. She hardly eats junk food, doesn’t have any friends outside the ones she meets at the Gopichand Badminton Academy where she trains, and doesn’t shop or go out much. “All sportspersons have lived life like that. It takes a lot to be a champion. Sachin [Tendulkar], Roger Federer, all of them have done that,” she says.

Her coach and mentor Pullela Gopichand recounts an incident after the 2008 Beijing Olympics. “We were on our way back and Saina was crying. I tried to lighten the mood but it didn’t work. So I told her that we would start practising the next day at 6 a.m. to shock her out if it. I meant it in jest. She looked at me seriously and said, ‘Sir, can we please start at 7 instead of 6?’ I was shocked.”
 
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Saina makes 2010 a year to remember for Indian badminton

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 December 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 748

Saina Nehwal continued her giant strides, breaking through the 'Great Wall of China' with five international titles to become the world number two as Indian badminton rode on her success to rise in profile in a highly successful 2010. After a highly promising last year during which she won the Indonesian title, Saina proved once again why she is the brightest star in Indian badminton as she went several steps ahead this year.

The Hyderabadi became the first female Indian shuttler to win three back-to-back titles when she clinched the Indian Open Grand Prix Gold, Singapore Super Series and defended the Indonesian Open in June. But the icing on the cake came in October when the 20-year-old won the Commonwealth Games gold medal at the Sri Fort Complex.

She didn't stop there and her insatiable hunger for success guided her to a third Super Series title when she won the Hong Kong Open last month to wipe out the disappointment of losing in the quarterfinals of the Asian Games. Twin honours at the national level added to her aura as she was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri awards.

"It has been nothing less than a dream year for me because even though I played in just five super series events out of 12 Super Series, I won three of them and it is a great feeling.

 

Only Lee, Koo-Tan for Masters Finals as China leave BWF guessing

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 December 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 748

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will have the smallest representation in the Super Series Masters Finals but all eyes will be on China over whether they would snub the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) season finale for a third consecutive time.

The Hong Kong Open, which ended yesterday, marked the end of a 12-leg series this season.

The top eight ranked in singles and doubles with each country limited to two entries in each event qualify for the US$500,000 Masters Finals, which will be held in Taiwan from Jan 5-9.

Malaysia will only have Lee Chong Wei and Koo Kien Keat-Tan Boon Heong in the fray – the smallest number of representatives since the Finals was introduced in 2008.

In the previous two editions, Malaysia also had representatives in the women’s singles and doubles events.

Defending champion Wong Mew Choo failed to make it while the 2008 champions Chin Eei Hui-Wong Pei Tty did not pick up enough points to qualify due to injuries to the latter.

 

Chance for Chong Wei to be biggest winner in badminton

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 December 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 795

PETALING JAYA: It has been a hectic year for world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei but he is not out of breath just yet.

He is looking forward to enjoying a triple treat next month in three mega-bucks events lined up for him with a total of US$2.1mil in prize money at stake.

Chong Wei has the chance to emerge as the biggest winner in the history of the sport if he is successful in the defence of three titles – in the 2010 Super Series Masters Finals in Taiwan (Jan 5-9) and in the new season’s Malaysian Open (Jan 18-23) and Korean Open (Jan 25-30).

The Masters Finals offers a total purse of US$500,000 while the Malaysian Open has US$400,000 in prize money.

The Korean Open is the richest tournament on the calendar next year, offering US$1.2mil in prize money.

If Chong Wei wins all three, he will pocket a total of US$160,000. The singles champion gets US$40,000 in the Masters Finals, US$30,000 in the Malaysian Open and US$90,000 in the Korean Open.

Chong Wei, who won the season-closing Super Series Open tournament in Hong Kong on Sunday, said that he would compete in all three tournaments even though they would be taxing on him.

 

Taufik, Markis and Hendra Fall Short In Hong Kong Super Series (pic)

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Category: Badminton News
Published: 20 December 2010
Posted by BadmintonPlanet.com Hits: 741

For the first time, Indonesian men's badminton pairing Markis Kido and Hendra Setiawan will end a year without a Super Series title.

The Indonesian men’s doubles pair lost 21-19, 14-21, 23-21 to South Koreans Ko Sung-hyun and Yoo Yeon-seong in the final of the Hong Kong Open on Sunday, leaving them with the Asian Games gold as their only major victory this season. Taufik Hidayat lost twice to Lee Chong Wei in two Super Series finals this season — in Hong Kong on Sunday and Indonesia in June.

Markis and Hendra have won at least two Super Series titles since the top-flight competition began in 2007.

They won twice last year and in 2007, and four times in 2008.

This year, however, Markis and Kido have appeared in the final only twice. Prior to the Hong Kong Open, they lost to Danish shuttlers Mathias Boe and Carsten Morgensen in the Denmark Open.

 

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