It was a kind of ‘welcome’ Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal could have done without.

She was struck on the forehead by a bouquet thrown at her amidst utter chaos outside Gate No. 6 of International arrivals at the Indira Gandhi Terminal, here on Tuesday morning.

On her way to Hyderabad after de-boarding a British Airways flight from London, Saina was to be felicitated by the officials of the Delhi Badminton Association (DBA) with a cheque of Rs. 5 lakh during her brief stop-over in the capital.

In the absence of any organised approach to the felicitation, the camerapersons jostled with one another to get the desired frame even as Saina was being welcomed in a traditional manner moments after she made an appearance.

Just when she was being welcomed with aarti and teeka, a bouquet thrown at Saina made her step back into the arrival area of the airport.

The security personnel and the DBA officials could only watch helplessly as the desperate cameramen and photographers mobbed Saina.

The DBA officials, most of them armed with bouquets, looked helpless.

“Luckily, we handed over the cheque to Saina soon after she arrived,” said a relieved and amused DBA Secretary S.P. Singh.

Minutes later, Saina was persuaded to return to Gate No. 6 briefly for the benefit of the camerapersons.

She obliged them for a few moments and hastily headed to the domestic terminal for her flight to Hyderabad.

Keywords: Saina Nehwal


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