Saina leaves for Thailand Open on Saturday

Last Updated: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 23:47

the Thailand Open Grand Prix gold badminton tournament to be held from June 5 to 10.

World number five Saina is a strong medal contender in the upcoming Olympics and she will be playing two tournaments -- Thailand Open and Indonesia Super Series -- as part of her preparation before the all-important London Games starting on July 27.

Saina had suffered a shocking exit from the India Open in the pre-quarterfinals at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here in April and the Indian would look to boost her confidence with a win in Thailand where she is the top seed in the women`s singles event.

"Saina is playing the Thailand Open and Indonesian Open as we wanted her to have more time before the Olympics. After these two tournaments, she will have five weeks to work on her mistakes," national coach and her mentor Pullela Gopichand said.

"She had a good training for four weeks after the India Open. We worked on her overall game and especially on her fitness and strokes. Depending on how she fares in these two events, we will analyse the results and also her opponents in the five weeks before the Olympics," he added.

Besides Saina, a host of other Indians shuttlers like P V Sindhu, Prajakta Sawant, Pradnya Gadre, Aparna Balan, Sikki Reddy, Anand Pawar, Sameer Verma, RMV Gurusaidutt, B Sai Praneeth, Sameer Verma, Kona Tarun, Arun Vishnu etc will also participate in the events.

Asked why P Kashyap, who qualified for the Olympics in the men`s singles event after a stupendous performance in the India Open, will not participate in the Thailand Open, Gopichand said: "Unfortunaley he had to take a week`s off because of a back spasm. But he will be playing in Indonesia and Singapore."

Other Olympic bound shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and V Diju will also play in the Indonesia Open and Singapore Open.

Jwala said she is working on her fitness and would be looking for a good performance in these two events to boost her confidence before the Olympics.

"We would be leaving on June 10. I have been working on my fitness a lot and have lost a few kgs and it is already helping my game. Since I am playing two events, it is important to work on stamina," she said.

"Both Diju and Ashwini are in good shape and we are looking at these events just like any other tournament. Of course a few wins will boost the moral and it will also help in getting an idea about how others are playing," she added.

Asked why P Kashyap, who qualified for the Olympics in the men`s singles event after a stupendous performance in the India Open, will not participate in the Thailand Open, Gopichand said: "Unfortunaley he had to take a week`s off because of a back spasm. But he will be playing in Indonesia and Singapore."

Other Olympic bound shuttlers Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and V Diju will also play in the Indonesia Open and Singapore Open.

Jwala said she is working on her fitness and would be looking for a good performance in these two events to boost her confidence before the Olympics.

"We would be leaving on June 10. I have been working on my fitness a lot and have lost a few kgs and it is already helping my game. Since I am playing two events, it is important to work on stamina," she said.

"Both Diju and Ashwini are in good shape and we are looking at these events just like any other tournament. Of course a few wins will boost the moral and it will also help in getting an idea about how others are playing," she added.

PTI



First Published: Friday, June 1, 2012 - 23:47

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