Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal said the quarterfinal defeat at the Beijing Olympics made her strong and the dream of winning an Olympic medal could be realised in London next year.
Saina, who participated in the Sudirman Cup a few days back, said she had been hopeful of winning a medal at Beijing in 2008.
“I was very disappointed. I really wanted to win the tournament. Although I was young I always had the feeling that I could reach the finals. So when I played the quarterfinals, I kept thinking of the semifinals. Then I went blank.
“It happens sometimes and that tournament really made me strong. Now it is my dream to win the London Olympics, I think I’m on the way, but there is a lot of work to do,” Saina told ’China Daily’
The Hyderabadi said playing against some top players in the world would be the best preparation for London Olympics.
“One year is a very long time. We will see how my ranking goes. I just want to play against the top players now, to beat them and gain confidence,” she said.
Saina had recently beaten China’s world number three Wang Xin in the quarterfinals of the Sudirman Cup and said she does not care about the reputation of her rivals.
“I have nothing to lose. I just try to give my best. And when I give my best, I always have the feeling that I can beat anyone. I just don’t get scared by anyone,” she said.
About the Chinese players Sania said they are strong but she doesn’t feel intimidated by them anymore.
“But I am getting used to playing against them. I’ve been playing against them during the past four years so I know their games,” she said.
Readers of an international badminton magazine, ’Badzine’, recently voted Saina the third-best badminton player of 2010.
She won the most votes of all female players, the daily said in its report.