See, review: Is India making a mistake by excluding Saina from CWG?
Clarity would be a very nice thing to grasp, on the current international position of Saina Nehwal. Its ranking is plummeting even with the ranking of badminton in glacial motion, frozen and dazed by Covid. And is expected to get worse after two full and miserable seasons and three years of poor performance.
But you’d have to be a complete badminton ignoramus to 100% believe that the current crop of players prominent in recent tryouts have a better chance on the international stage than she does in the coming months. There is a fairness that the lawsuits respond to, keeping it all uncontroversial and kosher. And there is realism – a cold, clinical assessment of who can bring medals, which is the KRA these Games should be about.
Surprised to see all the articles saying I don’t want to defend my CWG title and my Asiad medal. I’m just not taking part in the trials because I have just returned from 3 weeks of European events and according to the calendar there are Asian championships @BAI_Media @ianuragthakur
—Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) April 14, 2022
Saina clings to the scarlet tactic of a mid-set she snatched from world champion Akane Yamaguchi at All England, a title the Japanese won. But even she would know that the Asian Badminton Championships next week – for which she skipped national trials for the Uber Cup, CWG and Asiad – will be closely watched to determine if she still has it. in it, alongside its results in other pro tournaments on the circuit, where the biggest international names converge.
As things stand, Saina Nehwal is not heading to the Uber Cup and CWG, but strong results on the Tour may put BAI in a dilemma regarding the Asian Games, if they happen in September. Fitness permitting, Saina Nehwal, you would imagine, has a better chance of winning a second CWG medal behind Sindhu’s expected gold, than any of those who have competed in the trials this week. But his physical condition is a big IF. So, sticking to transparency and ‘process’, fearing that the players would be brought to justice, India skipped the insight and went and announced the squad early on.
Saina has 2 CWG titles from 2010 and 2018 (amazing, considering Sindhu has yet to win that gold medal), a bronze medal from Asiad and the Olympics, and a silver and bronze medal of the World Cup, as well as a bronze medal at the Uber Cup. It’s the complete (possible) set, though some of the silver and bronze medals will be nostalgic reminders of “could have been gold.”
It can be safely said that Saina Nehwal has maxed out her talent, if not surpassed, given her modest body agility and speed on the pitch, based on her courage. It is therefore not a question of completing his legacy, but of winning a medal on the second Indian sent to Birmingham, given the very average competition in CWG.
At this point in her career and with her body ravaged by injuries at 33, any notable win will be a bonus and it will be miraculous if she enters one of the tournament’s best final Sundays. That, she’s keen on not slipping out of the game and allowing the inevitable light fade, and fancies herself some fake whipping to beat the big names, an upset here, a 4 win streak there, c is Saina’s stubborn personality.
But much like Mary Kom in boxing, questions linger over whether she’s stretching herself out to indulge her own longevity tests or if she’s actually good enough to even squeeze through this misguided title. In the next few months, you will find out.
She suffered a loss to Malvika Bansod at the Indian Open and doesn’t carry that aura of invincibility that pugilists hold dear. But Bansod couldn’t make the Top 4 in the selection trials, and Aakarshi Kashyap, who is heading to the Commonwealth Games, is set to match India’s 2018 gold and silver tally in women’s singles with PV Sindhu. The CW Games is not a venue for ‘showing’ in a sport like badminton, with only a third of the top nations attending, with the expectations of heavily funded Indians aiming for the highest podiums. Goal – gold + silver in women’s singles + team wins.
Saina Nehwal’s funding withdrawal policy and if she deserves it, can keep spinning forever. But the question will always be whether India give up a second medal, to teach Nehwal a lesson on complying with the rules set out by BAI and SAI.
The selection criteria should always be ‘Who can take home a medal?’ of these Games, especially in a high-level, cutting-edge sport like badminton. No matter how thorough and meticulous the recently concluded national trials were.
And given that Saina was left out – since she didn’t participate in the trials and the federation had no choice – Aakarshi will have to step in and go the distance, fight for a medal. Or leave the question hanging – could Saina Nehwal have made it a game for that podium spot?
Competing for the big medals, for a place on the podium – no less, and not just making up numbers, can be called the greatest legacy of PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal on the biggest shuttle competition stages since the time when they were dropped in international arenas. The duo prepared for the biggies, like athletes from champion nations do – to win or fight trying. Hit the ground running, and no one apologized for them taking the time to settle in, such was their preparation.
Specifically, when they got to 16 or 17, the two already had the dominating aura on the domestic circuit that Aakarshi, Ashmita, Malvika, all 20+ simply cannot boast. The current group frequently lose to each other and are even steps away from winning Super 300 level competitions. Nehwal won the Philippines at age 17.
Settle for average finishes, hang around juniors longer than necessary, linger on show trips in the early 20s and wait for seasons to end, put the wheel back on, hope to go from Top 60 to Top 50 to Top 40 to Top 30 instead of the very fast Top 15 that Saina and Sindhu did, is a slow and unseen path to disappointing careers in a sport that has shown India dizzying possibilities. Yes, someone has to be in the top 20 and 30 in the world, but it doesn’t have to be a bunch of stagnant Indians!
Coach Vimal Kumar recently spoke of a lack of finishing blows and the prevalence of endless rallying among the new group of young players now lining up behind Sindhu and Saina. As trained eyes do, it senses the immediate absence of that special metric – a smashing weapon, aerial deception, speed and precision like compulsive rallyers like Nozomi Okuhara, a lone smash like Lakshya Sen had at 16, something, anything that nails those wins for you. Not just a promise.
Turning 21 would be a little too late for that realization to hit and start forging a stinging smash-kill and developing an attacking weapon. Sindhu and Saina arrived on the international scene ready with their offensive sabers that set them apart. Coach Pullela Gopichand prepared them from the start to take giant steps and score the first upsets.
Those like Ashmita Chaliha, Tasneem Mir, Tara Shah, Unnati Hooda and now Anupama Upadhyay have the offensive chops. “Little Saina” Unnati Hooda boasts of a “will beat anyone” attitude as well as strength. Throws from his backhand corner can travel to the opposite baseline, so there’s no shortage of power. Yet the transition from promise to international wins is the most difficult process, something that moneybags – sponsors and official backers, don’t think much about beyond negotiating contracts with a coach. foreign. The process is more complicated than signing checks and should be left to experts like Padukone, Vimal Kumar and Pullela Gopichand who have overseen these transitions.
Extrapolating domestic success to equate projections of international earnings is exactly the kind of naïve assumptions that those who write checks make. Remember that 10 Indians in the Top 40 cannot be a country’s target if none of them go deep into the tournament finals pushing for the Top 10.
But even if Indian badminton implements a system of pushing 10 women into the Top 40 and hoping that one of them picks up and moves on, it will have to insist on not settling for the Top 30. strollers and constantly demanding excellence, the kind that Saina or Sindhu delivered.
China and Thailand are pushing the numbers hoping the odds come true, but China are doing better at winning the crucial medals because their youngsters are primed for a sudden blitz. Thus, a well-organized national trial is not a direct entry point to guide a Top Tenner. It helps data crunchers, but can’t replace a trainer’s keen eye.
There are three ways to look at the selection of the CWG: first, fairness was met. With his vastly improved physical condition, Aakarshi’s game is up several notches from a year ago, and he’s a driven individual who will need mentors to set his highest goals, not to s ‘install.
Second, if 2024 Paris and LA 2028 Games were the target, then Unnati Hooda would be a better choice. Remember, Saina pulled off a crucial CWG match at age 15. With a smash to boot.
Third, the big picture can often cloud immediate clarity. India must retain 2018 Commonwealth Games gold and silver – wise men and women must answer honestly if Aakarshi Kashyap has a better chance than Saina Nehwal, if the latter says she is fit enough .