Jakarta: Former world number one Saina Nehwal, who bagged a bronze medal in the women’s singles badminton event of the ongoing 18th edition of the Asian Games, has said that the victory is very special for her as it came after a long gap.
The former world number one settled for the bronze medal after slumping to a 17-21, 14-21 defeat at the hands of Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the semi-final clash in the quadrennial prestigious tournament.
Reflecting on the same, the 28-year-old told ANI that though she had worked really hard for the tournament, winning a gold medal is not all an easy task.
“Asiad medal is very special for me as I had missed the opportunity to claim victory despite participating in the last four edition of the tournament. It was pressurizing for me out there but I handled it well,” Nehwal said.
She added, “Asian Games is like the Olympics for us. I had worked hard and focused well. It is not easy to win gold, you have to beat the best.”
Talking about her comeback following her recovery from a leg injury, the shuttler revealed that it was a difficult phase for her as she started doubting herself. She further underscored that it was her hard work and self-confidence that helped her to keep going.
“It was a rough patch. Surgery was a new thing for me. I never had to go through such a difficult phase. Everything was falling in place for me but after the injury, I started thinking that I might not be able to make a comeback,” she said.
“The only thing I could do was to rehab and come back. So, I tried to focus on coming back stronger,” Nehwal added.
Nehwal’s bronze victory in the tournament made her the first Indian to clinch a medal in women’s singles badminton event of the Asian Games.
India’s total medal tally in the ongoing 18th edition of the Asian Games now stands at 45– eight gold, 16 silver and 21 bronze.