Media hype might have affected Saina in Asiad: Prakash

Last Updated: Dec 14, 2010, 21:02 PM IST

Mumbai: Media hype after winning the
Commonwealth Games gold medal might have affected the Saina
Nehwal`s performance in last month`s Asian Games in Guangzhou
and led to her early exit, according to badminton legend
Prakash Padukone.

"My advice is not to put too much pressure on Saina who
has got all the attributes of a top player. Perhaps the media
pressure affected her during the Asian Games," said the former
All England champion on the sidelines of a media conference
here.

Saina went into the Asian Games with her confidence on a
high after winning the India Open, Singapore Open, the
Indonesian Open and the Commonwealth Games singles titles.

But, seeded number two, Saina lost in the quarterfinals
of the Asian Games against Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong. She,
however, avenged her defeat last week by beating the same
opponent in the Hong Kong Super Series semifinal.

In the final, Saina beat Asian Games gold medallist Wang
Shixian to cap a memorable year.

Prakash expressed concern that unnecessary media hype
could affect her at the 2012 Olympic Games in London too.
"If media hype continues it can affect her in the
Olympics too. Let her play her natural game," he added.

PTI