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Capable players should get government scheme: Saina

Saina Nehwal

New Delhi: Thanking the government for lending a helping hand to the country’s top sportspersons, India’s champion shuttler Saina Nehwal hopes the establishment will now put its weight behind upcoming talents striving to make a mark globally.

Asked if the government can try helping those who are beginning to shine, apart form the elite athletes, the world number 2 shuttler Saina, who was today given a cash award of 25 lakhs by the ministry, responded in positive.

“Players who are capable of doing well in any international events, there names should be in the government scheme. I must say the government is also giving a lot of support to sportspersons,” Saina said when asked about the government’s TOP (Target Olympic Podium) scheme.

The recent months had been very fruitful for Saina and the Hyderabad-based shuttler said she was looking forward to winning more titles.

“My job is to give my best and not think about rankings. Lots of surprises were in store for me this year, which I didn’t expect,” Saina said on the sidelines of the Times Of India Sports Award.

“The last one year was a special experience, scaling the world number one ranking, reaching the finals of All England Championships, winning the India Open and China Open. I just want to stay focussed. The performance has motivated me to do better.

“I am a very emotional person and staying at the top is not easy. I have more dreams that I want to achieve,” said the player who was at the top of world ranking for two brief stints recently.

Talking about the Sudhirman Cup, starting on Sunday, Saina said India was determined to improve their record in the prestigious tournament.

“It’s about the team. I hope to do well in the Sudhirman Cup. We hardly play team event.”

As talks turned to next year’s Rio Olympics, Saina said her main aim was to remain fit going into the quadrennial extravaganza.

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