Saina Nehwal calls on India's women to make an impact

NEW DELHI Thu Jul 8, 2010 5:57pm IST

India's 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

India's 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

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)

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Formula One

Vettel to replace Alonso at Ferrari

Vettel to replace Alonso at Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel looked forward to following in Michael Schumacher's Formula One footsteps after Ferrari confirmed on Thursday that the four times world champion would replace Fernando Alonso next season on a three-year deal.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Davis Cup

Davis Cup

Federer set to face France in Davis Cup final.  Full Article 

Birdie Spree

Birdie Spree

Sublime McIlroy in tie for Dubai lead.  Full Article 

Clarke Fitness

Clarke Fitness

Clarke 'hopeful' for first India test - physio.  Full Article 

A New Level

A New Level

Moyes has brought new intensity to Sociedad - Martinez.  Full Article 

Back On Field

Back On Field

Iniesta back in training with Barca before Sevilla clash.  Full Article 

Good Turnover

Good Turnover

Bayern pay off stadium, to post 500 mln euros turnover.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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