Indian sports fan have a lot to cheer about. While on one hand the Men in blue are mercilessly routing opponents in the cricket World Cup, Saina Nehwal has entered the women’s singles final of the All England Open Badminton Championships.
Saina became the first Indian in 14 years to reach the final of the All England Open Badminton Championships after defeating China’s Sun Yu in straight sets 21-13, 21-13.
Sania, who defeated her archenemy and former world champion, Wang Yihan of China on Friday, piled a straight set victory on China’s Sun Yu in 50 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena.
The third seed became the first Indian woman to enter the summit clash of the prestigious $500,000 tournament. Before her, only Pullela Gopichand and Prakash Padukone have won the tournament till date.
New Delhi, November 4: Two remarkable statements since Kidambi Nammalwar Srikanth won back-to-back Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series titles at Copenhagen and Paris should be taken note of.
Srikanth, the fourth player in the world to have won four Super Series titles in a year, said that the days of Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan, if not Chen Long, are coming to an end.
Incidentally, the three stalwarts are the only others to have won four Super Series singles titles before Srikanth. With China and Hong Kong Opens still to be played, Srikanth can improve his career record of six big ticket titles, but will take Lee Chong Wei’s record of seven in a year.
Srikanth with six titles is fourth behind Lee Chong Wei with 45, Lin Dan with 21 and Chen Long 17 in all-time winners.
That showed the confidence of the Indian who is now World No.2, a ranking only three other Indians share with him, starting with the great Prakash Padukone and Saina Nehwal, who went on to become the only World No.1 from the country, and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, who is right now World No.2 in the women’s singles.
The other statement, from his highly acclaimed coach Pullela Gopichand, is more startling. Gopi says that the achievements of his ward Srikanth are only the tip of the iceberg. Imagine what else could be in store from Srikanth if this only the tip of the iceberg.
We only talk of bench strength when it comes to cricket and at times the strength of the country’s Davis Cup squad. Now you can see an all-round growth the Indian badminton. Not only, his friends and roomies at the Gopichand Academy, Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth and Haseena Sunil Prannoy are also moving ahead.
It was Praneeth who beat Srikanth at the Singapore Open for his own maiden Super Series title and thereafternot only he but the world’s best were at the receving end against him. Praneeth has nothing but admiration for his teammate. He feels that 2017 is Srikanth’s and he is unstoppable.
It has not been an easy ride for the Hyderabad-based young man from Guntur. He had to fight hard in the opening rounds in seven of the 12 tournaments h played this year he had to rally to win in three games, but curiously he looked comfortable towards the tournament weekends as only final went to three games.
His one major comeback win at the Denmark Open was against World champion and No.1 Viktor Axelsen. He also had to fight it out over three games against Chinese Shi Yuqi and Prannoy in France.
Both the finals turned out to be one-sided, in the Denmark Open against 37-yeard-old Korean Lee Hyun Il and at the French Open, against qualifier Kenta Nishimoto of Japan.
Srikanth’s turning point was Jakarta and from then he has been a completely different player, though the signs were there at Singapore itself in July. His next title came at the Australian Open and then the two European titles from Denmark and France.
The best thing that could have happened to Srikanth was Mulyo Handoyo joining Gopichand Academy as the second in command. The Indonesian knew his ward’s caliber as world class.
Seven months ago Handoyo had said the Indian would be going places as he sees in him his own protégé Taufiq Hidayanto. His job was to take him to the next level and how well he did, bringing him back from a low ranking of 31. He honestly believed Srikanth has an all-round game like Taufiq even if he doesn’t impart the same power in hi strokes.
It is all soeasy to compare Srikanth with Prakash and Gopichand. What the two veterans did was to win the All-England titles which none of the Indian, men or women, have done after that. The sport has changed a lot and the tour is getting tougher these days and considering that what Srikanth has achieved is stupendous.
Gopichand has the last word on Srikanth: Right now he is the best player in the world! (IANS)
New Delhi, November 9, 2016: Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain was bagged by Hyderabad Hunters for Rs.61.5 lakh, becoming the costliest buy in the Premier Badminton League (PBL) auction for players held here on Wednesday.
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The second highest bid went for South Korean woman shuttler Sung Ji Hyun, with Mumbai Rockets paying Rs.60 lakh for her.
Denmark shuttler Jan ‘O’ Jorgensen proved to be the third costliest after he was bought for Rs.59 lakh in the auction held here at a city hotel. The Dane went to Delhi Acers.
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However, India’s Rio Olympic silver medallist P.V. Sindhu went to Chennai Smashers for Rs.39 lakh – way below expectations. Her illustrious compatriot, Saina Nehwal went to Awadhe Warriors for Rs.33 lakh.
Since ancient times, sports has been an integral part of Indian history. We have some legendary sportsmen like Milkha Singh, Kapil Dev, Dhyanchand, etc. ruling the charts. Today, women are also becoming the face of Indian sports. Women sportspersons these days are taking Indian sports to a new height. Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal have gradually emerged as popular youth icons and are creating ripples in the stagnant ocean! NewsGram takes a look at their journey:
Sania Mirza took India tennis to the global level. In the days when the patriarchal society of India was reveling in the notion that women cannot excel in sports, a determined Mirza changed the course of Tennis. Born on 15th November 1986, she started playing tennis at an early age of six. She found her first coach in her father Imran who diligently took her talent forward and carved it well so that she could be an inspiration for others like her.
She started taking part in international tournaments from the year 1999 and soon became a pro at the game. Her strength became evident from her very first game. In 2003, she managed to enter the list of world’s top 100 tennis players. She is the youngest Indian player to win the Grand Slam title too, thus creating a stir amongst the masses.
The ace player Sania is currently ranked world number one in the women’s doubles (she retired from singles recently). Now, she is all set to receive Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest Indian honour in the field of sports. It is indeed a big achievement for the star tennis player as she is the second tennis player after Leander Paes to be recommended for this award. NewsGram congratulates her for being an inspiration to many people around the world and opening new doors for the tennis aspirants.
Saina Nehwal has proved her mettle as a promising Indian female Badminton player and continues to reach heights. Like Sania Mirza aroused the interest of the youths to pursue the game of tennis, she is opening a whole new arena for them to follow.
She was born on 17th March 1990 with the game instilled in her genes as both her parents, Dr. Harvir Singh and Usha Rani were former State Badminton Champions. Her training started at the age of eight and since then the badminton racket has been her companion. In the year 2003, she made her presence felt when she won the Junior Czech Open Tournament.
Subsequently in 2004, she became the National Junior Champion and in 2005, she won the title again. This shows her dedication towards the game. In 2006, she won the bronze medal at the Commonwealth games thus creating a benchmark for herself. From small steps, she soon took leaps as she won the Superseries Title in 2009.
She has been decorated with awards like Arjuna Award (2009), Padma Shri Award (2010) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (2010). Her zeal has motivated many others to follow her path.
From Sania Mania to Saina Style, Indian women have been rising in the field of sports and overcoming all hurdles. NewsGram feels that more and more women should come forward and take sports as career. Only required tools are diligence, hard work, and passion.