Saina Nehwal wins silver

In winning a silver medal at the World Championships, Saina Nehwal has filled a void in her achievements.

Though she would have loved to return with the gold, nevertheless it is a historic feat for Indian badminton.

She became the first from the country to win a silver medal on one of the biggest stages.

Runner-up Saina Nehwal (left) poses with her silver medal next to World No. 1 Carolina Marin in Jakarta

Before Saina’s feat, India had four bronze medals at the World Championships starting from legendary Prakash Padukone’s podium finish in 1983.

PV Sindhu had won back-toback medals in 2013 and 2014 while doubles exponents Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa did so in 2011.

At 25, Saina has taken Indian badminton to new heights, the Olympic bronze medal being the biggest laurel.

After the London Olympics, she struggled for a brief period when international titles dried up.

She moved from Pullela Gopichand, under whom she achieved a lot, to Vimal Kumar for coaching.

The change has worked for her and she has come back hungrier and eager for more success.

That has seen her overcoming some ‘mental blocks’ this year like winning the India Open Super Series for the first time in five attempts, becoming the World No. 1 for a brief period and reaching the finals of the All England and now the World Championships.

It is another matter that on both occasions, she lost to a younger opponent in Spanish prodigy Carolina Marin.

She will have to find an answer to this puzzle now.

Saina displayed strong determination in beating her longtime nemesis and Olympic silver medallist Wang Yihan of China in a classic quarter-final at the Worlds in Jakarta.

Her performance in the Indonesian capital augurs well for India with the Rio de Janeiro Olympics just a year away.

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