Saina Nehwal reaches top 5; swears to put country first
After her back-to-back quarter-final appearances at Denmark and French Open tournaments this month, Indian Badminton player Saina Nehwal now ranks fifth in the latest Badminton World Federation women’s singles rankings that were released this Thursday.
Nehwal climbed on to the fifth rank despite losing both the events to World No. 2 Chinese Shixian Wang, where her compatriot P V Sindhu maintained her No.10 position after losing the first round of French Open.
Amongst the men, Parupalli Kashyap reached the top 20 after climbing up four places in the last two tournaments. Kashyap’s recent success was however bitter-sweet since he made it to the semi-finals of Denmark Open but lost in the quarter-finals of French Open. On the other hand, Kidambi Srikanth retained his position as the top ranked Indian male shuttler at number 16.
[Picture Courtesy: SaddaHaq]
Amongst women’s doubles, Indian duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa re-entered the top-20 at No. 20. However, there is no Indian in the top-25 of either men’s or mixed doubles. After the Sport’s Minister announced that no financial help will be extended to athletes who prefer professional commitment over representing their country, following Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna refusal to participate in the Incheon Asian Games; Nehwal stated that her first priority would always be to play for India.
According to a report by Money Control, Nehwal, who was at the Delhi Golf Club recently, said, “I don’t think anyone would not want play for the country. Everyone would want to play for the country. Sometimes you can’t ignore that there is injury or a player goes through some difficult situation. Otherwise, I am sure everyone would want to play for the country and for the pride of the nation.”
She added, “In the prize money event also you are not going there just as a player. You play at the state level, then national level and finally you reach the international level. So at that level, you only play for the country. It is not about prize money or medal, it is only about your country.”
ORIGINAL SOURCE: Money Control