London Olympics: My bronze will inspire youngsters to take up badminton says Saina
London: Saina Nehwal reckons that her Olympic bronze medal will inspire more youngsters to take up the sport and the badminton scenario in the country will change soon with new talents coming through.
"This medal will change a lot of things. We will see a change in the badminton scene and more girls will take up the sport. P V Sindhu is doing well and similarly many more girls will come through like in China and Korea," Saina said at the press conference after her Chinese opponent Xin Wang retired hurt from the bronze medal play-off match.
"My aim was to win an Olympic medal and I have worked hard for it for the last five, six years. The whole thing is yet to sink in, I can`t believe that I have actually won an Olympic medal," she said.
Saina said she will now take a few days break and watch some movies and eat chocolates.
"I have no celebration plans; (will) just take a few days break. I will watch some movies as I like movies. My dad doesn`t allow me to eat chocolates, but probably now I can eat some chocolates. Does not matter if I put on weight," she said cheekily.
Asked whether she slept well last night, Saina said, "I slept well last night. But could not sleep well ahead of the semi-final match. I had a feeling that I will do well. She changed her strategy in the second half of the first set," the Hyderabadi said.
"Initially I thought she (Wang) wasting time as she was getting tired. But later I realised that it was a serious injury," she said.
On whether she was satisfied with her match, she said, "It`s OK, not too good. I was playing well at the end but unfortunately she went down. I was lucky to get this medal.
"It`s a dream. I wanted gold but I am happy. At the next Olympics I will do better. I never thought a player from India would get a medal at badminton. It`s a very proud day."
Saina said that the Chinese players were now "scared" of her as she has beaten quite a few of them in recent past.
"At least I know they are scared of me, I can see it in their eyes, I am happy to scare six or seven of them. I just have to work out a good strategy again them. I have to be ready for them," she said.
She said she will analyse her semi-final match against Yihan Wang and see what actually went wrong.
"My strategy was wrong with her. I allowed her to dictate terms and could not engage her in rallies. I have to come up with better plans for these players," she pointed out.
On being the only women`s singles badminton player from India at the Games, Saina said, "It`s much easier for the players like the Chinese as they have a lot of other players in the country to play against and they know each other`s games.
"I have to worry each round. It`s tougher for me because I`m a single player."
Asked whether she has spoken to her father after the semi-final match, she said, "I have not spoken to him, I felt bad losing the match and not being able to bring the gold medal.
"Whatever he did for me, everything that he did, I still cry because parents hardly ever do as much for their children as he has done for me," she said.