The Saina Syndrome

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal

The twenty year old, ace badminton player Saina Nehwal has brought laurels to the nation. 2010 has been a year of breakthrough for her. On looking behind the journey she has traveled so far it is enchanting and inspiring to pen down her achievements. Do not worry this is not a list of her achievements in chronological order but it is the transformation of how Saina became Padma Shri Saina.  It is not surprising that she is a star because it just flows in her stock. Born to the couple who were former Haryana badminton Champions she is indeed a carrier of that talent.

Saina’s early years were filled with hard work and great passion for the game. The little Saina picked up the coaching at the age of eight traveling around fifty kilometers a day for the training. The wind of victory and fame gently blew over her when she was fourteen; Saina became the National Junior Champion and the gentle wind sustained for the next years too. Going international, Nehwal as a young teen made a mark in the pages of Global Badminton by winning the Junior Czech Open in 2003 and also received her first International victory in the year 2005 at India Satellite tournament.

On stepping into the senior level, the gentleness in the wind faded and it gained some turbulence. She capped her first National Senior Championship by coming as a runner but in the following years 2006 and 2007 Nehwal emerged as the winner and became the face of the game. She has faced the world’s top seeded players at various International tournaments; this did not trip down her confidence level. Nehwal took her early losses as a part of the learning experience and she gained momentum at every win that she confronted in the years that followed. She captured the public’ attention when Saina became the first Indian women to enter into the quarter finals of Summer Olympics in 2008. Saina became a nemesis then to the world-class players and made the matches into a thriller and eventually she lost to Indonesia.  Adding to the success, the game gained more popularity in the country.

2010 was a very eventful year for her. It was this year where she carved a place of her own by winning three International titles. At the onset of this year she stated that it was not the ranking or the numbers she is hunting for, she was aiming to focus on leading tournaments. Indeed her goal proved to be right. This time the wind helped her to sail all along the crest of her career. Her earth shattering achievement this year was the shimmering gold at the Commonwealth Games held in New Delhi. The country desperately wanted that thrust to lift India’s medal tally at the sports meet.

Having stumbled at the Asian Games her rank tripped to number 7 as most of her preparations went to the Commonwealth Games. Though December was very cold to her figuratively she was not thwarted and made up for the losses incurred by winning the penultimate tournament of the year, Hong Kong Super Series 2010. The rank was regained; another feather was added to her cap and made the nation proud by her arduous efforts.

It is indeed a proud feeling for the country to have nurtured such a talent amidst the odds. She was awarded with numerous national awards including the most prestigious Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award.

The Saina syndrome is the effect that imbibes into every badminton aspirant in India and eliminating the odds out and emerging as a successful individual. She had the goal fixed, had her thoughts clear, health fit and what she gave was the best performance. The game was in her blood, sweat, breath and this is what made her a Champ. She possessed the right attitude, persona and the charisma.

This young achiever is phenomenal and made hundreds turn for the game. Our nation will follow only if the leader is inspiring as how shooting gained recognition after Rathore’s Gold in a similar fashion after Saina’s victory there is a change envisaged; and this is what is called as The Saina Syndrome!

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Bharathi Murali


Hello folks! I am Bharathi Murali, 20, a Chemical Engineering student who always look at journalists or journalism students with a little jealousy in my eyes. I belong to Coimbatore now put up in Chennai. Besides writing, blogging I like traveling (on my bike), photography and silence. I have strong belief in philosophy. With regard to sports I just love watching them on TV when it comes to playing them I have tried to play most of the Indian sports with shallow knowledge in each. I am also a part of the University Basketball team and guess more than scoring I take care of defence better and well known for the fouls that I generally commit! I blog at In one line I have always admired Bhagat Singh more than Gandhi, I support radicalism!


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