Who is Saina Nehwal?
Saina Nehwal (March 17, 1990) is a badminton player who made history by becoming the first Indian to ever win a Super Series tournament when she won the Indonesian open in 2010. She is also the first Indian woman to rise to the quarter finals of the Olympics. She is considered as one of the most successful Indian sportspersons and credited with increasing the popularity of the sport of badminton in India. She has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, as well as the Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna from the Government of India.
Where did she grow up?
Saina was born in Hisar, Haryana on 17th March 1990 to Usha Nehwal and Dr. Harvir Singh, a scientist at the directorate of oilseed research. Both of Saina’s parents were badminton champions in their native state, Haryana. Saina however grew up in Hyderabad. When her father took 8 year old Saina to meet Coach Nani Prasad he was advised to enroll her in a summer training program. The supportive family would travel around 50 kms everyday so that Saina could develop her sport.
This rigorous schedule proved successful when the young athlete began to consistently bring home medals starting with gold at the Czechoslovakia Junior open in 2003. Her rise to the top has been assisted by multiple badminton legends such as S.M Arif, Atik Jauhari, and Pullela Gopichand.
Saina Nehwal Achievements
She has achieved many milestones for India in the sport of badminton. She is the first female Indian player to achieve a world number 1 ranking in badminton. She is also the first Indian player to ever have won a medal in the Olympic Games in badminton. She is also the the only Indian to have won atleast one medal in every BWF (Badminton World Federation) individual event. She also became the first Indian to win two singles gold medals (2010 and 2018) in the Commonwealth Games.
Badminton is played with a racket and what is called a shuttle cork, which can be successfully hit only on one side. Can you figure out why a shuttle cork will always fall with the right side ready to be hit by a racket?
Short biographies of famous sports people for kids, visit: https://mocomi.com/learn/culture/famous-people/sports/