Saina Nehwal calls on women athletes to make an impact

NEW DELHI Fri Jul 9, 2010 12:43am IST

Badminton player Saina Nehwal holds her medals from the Singapore Open Series, India Open Grand Prix and Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series tournaments during a news conference in Hyderabad June 29, 2010. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder/Files

Badminton player Saina Nehwal holds her medals from the Singapore Open Series, India Open Grand Prix and Djarum Indonesia Open Super Series tournaments during a news conference in Hyderabad June 29, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Krishnendu Halder/Files

Related Topics

Election 2014

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Badminton world number three Saina Nehwal has urged India's other female athletes to make the sacrifices necessary to break into the country's male-dominated sports community.

The 20-year-old from Hyderabad, who picked up her second successive Indonesia Open Super Series title last month, told Reuters that Indian women had to toughen up to compete at the highest level.

"It is indeed very difficult for women in this country to excel because of many archetypal conservative attitudes and other societal obstacles," said Nehwal, who became the first Indian woman to reach the Olympic quarter-finals in Beijing in 2008.

"Which is why we have more women from countries like China, Japan and Korea. Also I think women in India need to be mentally and physically stronger to compete in international sports.

"Of course one needs to have conviction, zeal and strong resolve to train and learn. And one has to be watchful of a healthy diet and fitness regime, which means absolutely no fast food and more salads and proteins."

Nehwal put her success down to the financial sacrifices made by her parents and her own dedication to a rigorous training regime that left her exhausted and out of pocket.

"I would often sleep on the pillion of my father's scooter," she said. "And during the course I lost many rackets, some even as costly as 10,000 rupees ($215). On one occasion, my father went on to lodge a police complaint against the loss of racket."

Nehwal said she wanted to build on her success and capture more titles before the end of the year.

"I want to take this winning streak forward to a world championship title, the Commonwealth Games 2010 in India and later Asian Games 2010 in China."

(Writing by Peter Rutherford in Singapore, Editing by Clare Fallon;

To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)

(For more news on Reuters India, click in.reuters.com)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Exit Door

Exit Door

Japan's NTT DoCoMo to exit India telecoms joint venture - sources.  Full Article 

New Nokia Head

New Nokia Head

Nokia to name Rajeev Suri as next CEO on Tuesday - report.  Full Article 

Good Impression

Good Impression

New Microsoft CEO Nadella impresses Wall Street, stresses challenges.  Full Article 

Paucity of Rains

Patchy Rain

Met office rules out surplus monsoon in 2014   Full Article 

FB Newswire

FB Newswire

Facebook courts journalists with newswire tool.  Full Article 

Times Top List

Time 100

Janet Yellen, Miley Cyrus odd bedfellows in Time's list of 100 most influential.  Full Article 

Boat Tragedy

Boat Tragedy

From God.com to photography, Korea ferry founder has diverse interests.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage