I’m not a machine, I’m human, says Saina Nehwal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM (TIP): India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal is keen to get her priorities right. She doesn’t want to overburden herself by playing back-to-back tournaments in the days ahead. A strong performance in the Jakarta World Championship in August next year and Rio Olympics in 2016 are her twin targets.

In order to optimize her potential, she has decided to give some of the important national events a miss next year. The Hyderabad shuttler has stated that she will not feature in the National Games to be held in Kerala as well as the National Senior Badminton Championships to be held in Vijayawada. Both these events are scheduled to be held in January-February 2015.

“I’m not a machine. I’m a human being. I can only play according to what my body permits. I play at least 12 to 15 tournaments around the globe a year. I have to prioritise the tournaments I play in and that will be done in consultation with my coach U Vimal Kumar, Badminton Federation of India and my back-up team that includes my family. And I don’t think I will be part of National Games and the Senior National Badminton Championship,” the World No. 4 said on the sidelines of a promotional event here.

Though Andhra Pradesh is not likely to field a team in the team events of National Games, Saina could have played in the individual singles event. But she has ruled out that option.

“Right now I’m taking a week’s break and I am here today only because of my obligation towards my sponsors. I’ll resume training from Monday or Tuesday with my coach in Bangalore. I can only take it from there. I’m going to start off with some light training. Usually, it takes two to three weeks to get into competition mode,” Saina said. “The World Championship is in August and Olympics in Rio is happening in another year’s time. I have to concentrate on these two as both are big tournaments for me. It will be tough. I want to stay fit in 2015. So I have to be choosy about the tournaments I participate in,” Saina said.

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