Winning is the biggest motivating factor which keeps me going, says 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal.

Speaking at the book release function of her autobiography “Playing to win..my life on and off court” here on Wednesday evening, Saina said she loved badminton more than anything else and that was the reason she constantly dreamt of winning titles. “So after each title, I set new goals and keep working hard”, she remarked.

“Right now, I am not thinking too far about the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. Let me see how things shape up over the next three years. All I look for is to stay injury-free to realise the other goal now -win an Olympic gold,” the champion shuttler pointed out.

“This is a very special day in my life for I never expected to pen my autobiography at the age of 22. And, the reason why I did now was I thought it would inspire many youngsters take up sports and dream big like me”, Saina said.

“I must thank my mom here, despite her temper, for making me what I am today. She pushed me to be a champion. One day when I asked her about what the difference was between me and the World No. 1, her reply was in a flash - she was a better player. Then, I started dreaming big” the Rajiv Khel Ratna Awardee remarked.

“The 117-page book is essentially all about my journey from the age of nine to becoming an Olympic medallist. It describes the struggle of not just mine but of my coaches, fellow players and the support staff over the years”, Saina reminded.

“There are two special persons whom I would admire a lot. One is my dad and the other one is Gopi Sir (chief national coach Pullela Gopi Chand). I am lucky to have both of them in guiding me. Honestly, I have never come across a more cooler and composed character than Gopi Sir”, she explained to a query.

Questioned why she is planning to set up an Academy in Benguluru and not in Hyderabad, Saina’s initial reply was no one had come with the offer here. But, she was quick to point with a big smile that since Gopi Academy which she feels is the best in the world is already in the City, she thought she should not start one here.

Saina attributed 30 per cent of her success to talent and the rest for her hard work and discipline which meant sacrificing what many normal girls of her age will enjoy otherwise. “This is why I feel many girls can take up sports and become champions like me and Sania Mirza”, she added.

The World No. 3 shuttler mentioned that two most significant milestones in her career were winning the Olympic bronze medal and the Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi. “There is no better joy than standing on the medal podium. That is why I keep enjoying playing day in and day out”, she signed off.

Eminent journalist Kingshuk Nag and London Olympics bronze medallist Gagan Narang were special invitees for the book release published by Penguin Books India.

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