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Saina Nehwal stands by coach P Gopichand in 'hour of need'

PTI   |  Nov 08, 2012, 10:03AM IST
Hyderabad: Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal on Wednesday stood by her coach Pullela Gopichand, who had been accused of "mental harassment" by doubles specialist Prajakta Sawant, stating that she is totally "unaware" about "how these things are coming out."
 
"Look at me. I am standing here today as World No 3. I would like to thank Gopi Sir for where I am today. I don't know from where all these things are coming out and I really don't know what it is," Saina, who was initially reluctant to answer the question provided her response on the issue.
 
Prajakta had moved to Bombay High Court on Tuesday accusing the chief national coach of "mental harassment" after she was denied entry into the national coaching camp at Gopichand's academy in Hyderabad.
 
It was a function to announce about the launch of her autobiography that will soon hit the stands, and it will give an insight to how a child prodigy turned into a big star.
 
The book titled 'Playing To Win' traces Nehwal's journey when he started playing age-group tournaments.
 
"It is a story about how I started playing at the age of 9 and today at the age of 22 with a Olympic medal in my kitty, what all I did to be here," she told reporters after the launch this evening.
 
She expressed confidence that the book would be liked by all and inspire a "lot more Saina Nehwals to come out."
 
Saina said she was assisted by a representative of the publishing house in writing the book.
 
She also said that it is sheer hardwork and discipline that has helped her to reach where she is today.
 
Asked to name two things that makes here special, Saina said "hard work and discipline" enabled her to emerge as a top-ranking badminton player.
 
The 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is still some time away but Saina feels that her victory in Denmark augers well for her.
 
When fellow Olympic medallist Gagan Narang asked what changes does she want to see in the sporting scenario, she said,"I want sportspersons to get good facilities so that they can excel in life."
 
Replying to a query, Saina said she had ice cream whenever she won a tournament which she cannot have as she had to maintain her fitness.
 
When Narang questioned as to what would be her message, she said the youth should have "self-belief and discipline to excel in their chosen field. The women are no inferior to men and they can do what they do."
 
To a query on her plans to set up an academy in Bangalore, she said she was offered help by the Haryana and Karnataka governments.
 
Saina said that meditation helps her to keep her mind cool and maintain mental strength.
 
To another query, she said the burning desire to win keeps her motivated and free from fatigue. Narang also stressed that passion and fire keeps the motivation going.
 
Saina will next play in China in a Super Series final and tournaments in Korea and Hong Kong and she regrets that she will again have to miss Diwali.
 
 
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