Saina Nehwal concurred with Olympic Gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra that top-notch individual sportspersons should have the option to play or skip national championships and she cited good reasons for not playing the nationals in New Delhi.
The Olympics bronze medallist said she plays 16 international events in order to win ranking points and qualify for Olympic, Commonwealth and Asian Games.
“Nowadays the competition has become so much (tough) that you need to be fit or you can’t even cross the first or second round. Fitness is very important.
“I am not playing the Korea event because I haven’t got the time for training, recovering and returning to my best. From Denmark Open onwards I am just struggling; I need proper time to recover and get back stronger on the court,’’ said Saina.
She was in Mumbai to present trophies to Gurbani Singh and Aditi Ashok, the match-play winner and runner-up of Indian Golf Union’s all-India ladies amateur golf championship on Monday. A disappointing 2013 has hurt Saina, but the champion player attributed the title-less year to injuries and short recovery time. In fact she is not even thinking far too ahead for 2014.
“It all depends on my fitness. I know I am going towards my goal and I am feeling good. The Commonwealth Games and Asian Games will be there in 2014 and also a lot of Super Series events. My immediate attention will be on the Malaysian and Indian Open.
“This year was all about the toe fracture. I didn’t get time to recover. During the World Championship I had a few weeks to recover, but that was not enough because I spent April, May, June attending to the toe fracture.
“The IBL turned out to be good. I don’t know how I played so well in that tournament. It just happened. Then in Denmark I fell and hurt my ankle.
“There were too many injuries this year and hence I wasn’t fit enough to be at my best like how I was in 2012. I had actually put on a lot of weight and that really affected my movements.
“It might take another one month for me to come back to my best fitness and I will make sure that I keep maintaining it during tournaments.’’