Saina Nehwal Summary Notes

Saina Nehwal About the Author

Gunjan Jain is a popular author, investment banker and a lifelong student of mindfulness. She is a graduate from Illinois at Urbana Champaign USA in economics and finance and has earned her master’s in wealth management from the Cass business school, City University of London. (U.K).

Her debut book She Walks, She Leads, an authorized anthology of India’s most dynamic women leaders is a profile of 26 prolific life stories capturing a panoramic range of professions, passion and sensibility. Each achiever shares a personal journey like never before. The biographies are supplemented by reference conversations with more than a hundred leading personalities. The above biography extract is taken from Saina Nehwal.

‘Saina Nehwal’ is an Indian professional Badminton singles player. She has won over 24 international titles, which includes eleven Super Series titles. In 2015, she attained the world no. 1 ranking, thereby becoming the only female player from India and overall the second Indian player to achieve this feat.

She has represented India three times in the Olympics, winning a bronze medal in her second appearance. This biography aims to infuse inspiration among the students to work hard, be focused on what they want to achieve in life and to be enthused with Saina’s ideology of hard work and dedication.

Saina Nehwal Summary

‘Saina Nehwal, by Gunjan Jain is excerpted from the author’s book, ‘She walks, She Leads’, an exclusive anthology of women achievers, written with the intention of motivating and inspiring people through her book by presenting twenty-four iconic women of modem India.

Saina Nehwal is the Champion of the Shuttlecock. Her story is as inspiring as it is exciting. Before Saina burst onto the scene, badminton was a sport played mostly by families on picnics. This girl from Hyderabad is the daughter of badminton champion couple, Dr. Harvir Singh Nehwal and Usha Rani. Saina reached the pinnacle of success at a very young age. In just ten years, at the age of twenty five, she became the first Indian women to claim the number one position in global badminton.

Gunjan Jain begins the biography notimg that ‘Sports persons are defined by the Sport they play’. Saina Nehwal is a professional badminton player from India. Saina Nehwal is the second daughter of Dr. Harvir Singh Nehwal and Usha Rani, both professional badminton players.

Born on 17 March 1990, she grew up to be an energetic child. Saina and her sister spent a lot of their childhood days at the faculty club in Haryana Agriculture University, where her father was a professor. Her mother and father practiced badminton at the faculty club.

In 1996, her father was posted as principal scientist at the ICAR, Hyderabad. The family moved to Hyderabad. After the Nehwal family shifted to Hyderabad, Saina, one day accompanied her father on a visit to the Lai Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad. He was considering hiring it for a tournament.

While her father busy negotiating the deal, Saina was playing with the racquets. The noted badminton coach RS.S. Nani Prasad Rao, was impressed with the style in which she handled the racquet and suggested couching her over the summer. Thus began her sporting career. Her mother was also determined to make her an Olympic Champion.

She helped Saina to focus on the game. Wherever she played badly her mother took her to task. Her mother would offer massages whenever her leg ached after rigorous practice sessions. Whenever her mother felt she had not played well she took her to task. Her mother taught her the art of winning or losing. Her mother was a tough task master, but she was Saina’s support system in everyway.

According to her coach Pullela Gopichand, Saina’s biggest asset in her unrelenting patience. He reveals that at the time he started coaching her she did not have a naturally perfect game. But he had analyzed that the only thing that she needed to win a game was a combination of dedication and hard work. He praises her that patiently working towards the goal with power and grit.

Saina was a brilliant student also but unfortunately she had to give up academics altogether as she was busy in her emerging sporting career. She had inherited the skills the game through her genes.

Her father Harvir Singh Nehwal, sacrified his career to promote his daughter’s sporting career. His job as a scientist was not lucrative to support her but his determination to further her sporting career dreams compelled him to sacrifice his fledging career.

Even though Saina’s Potential as a badminton player was not clear, he drew money from his provident fund six times and undauntedly turned down several career promotions, Which meant they had relocate to other cities away from Hyderabad where Saina was training with the renowned Indian coach Pullela Gopichand. He; also chose to remain in the same post for Saina’s sake.

As soon as her father realized her potential, he devoted himself to ensure she became an international badminton player. Saina needed only to concentrate on her training. She had to follow a strict regimen, no movies, parties or meals out. Though the family felt burdened by the expenses on her training and equipment, they somehow managed to fulfill it.

A contemporary of Saina, Parupalli Kashyap, who trained with her at the Gopichand academy says that both her parents being ‘ professional badminton players knew what Saina needed and guided her to in acquainting her to the skills needed for both state level and national level games.

Saina started exhibiting her talent for the game even as a beginner. The coach, Vimal kumar says that she was very focused and intense girl and had endured the physical rigor better than her contemporaries. These attributes in her prepared her psychological to move towards success.

At the tender age of fourteen Saina surprisingly won the National junior Badminton championship in 2004. After she defended the title the following year in 2005, she was set to enter the senior level games. Her coach Gopichand praises her for her consistency and fearlessness. He says that she was an aggressive player and always attempted to improve her techniques with every game.

Aparna Popat was the reigning queen of the senior badminton circuit. Not surprisingly, Saina lost the seniors title to her. But after Saina won the Asian Satellite Tournament and the Uber Cup in 2006, she was regularly playing in the seniors’ circuit.

When Aparna Popat a senior badminton player lost a match at the Commonwealth Games, Saina accosted her coach Vimalkumar and pleaded him to give her an opportunity, confidently assuring that she feels that she can beat the British badminton player, who had won a match against Aparna Popat.

Despite their doubts they fielded her in the Commonwealth games – 2006 when she won all the matches against Singapore and rose to world number six.

All her coaches sing peons about her. Coach Kumar admires her for her hard work, dedication and her relentless improvisation of her game. He says that though she is not as skillful as the other players, her mental strength reflects in her game. Two ofher profound assets are her concentration and determination.

From 2008 to 2010, Saina consistently won many matches. In 2008, she was ranked world no-20, though she missed winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics. A few months later she won the prestigious Chinese Taipei Open and by the end of2008 made her way into the top ten world rankings.

In early 2009, she became world number nine and the first woman to win the Indonesian super series. She also won the Indian Open Grand Prix. The year 2010 proved to be her best year ofher sporting career. She won the Indian open, Singapore Open, Indonesian Open and Hongkong open.

At the Common wealth Games-2010 in Delhi, Saina climbed to World number 10 ranking after she won the Gold medal. The years of struggle and iron determination begot luck for Saina. She was the strong contender for the Gold medal for Rio Olympic Games when Saina finished runner up to Marin at the All England Badminton Championship in Birmingham which was one of the premier championship in the world of Badminton.

Amongst the many titles, Saina also won a silver medal in 2004 Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. She was given the Aijuna Award in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016. She has won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award which is the highest sporting honour in India.

Her stellar performaces in the game of badminton made her the country’s prized sports women. Today she is one of the highest paid athletes in India other than cricketers and has a fan following that rivals that of cricketers. She has become the role model for millions of girls aspiring for empowerment.

Saina Nehwal Glossary

  • Trumped: Something that gives one an advantage
  • Concurrent: Happening at the same time simultaneously
  • Relegated: Consign a person or thing to aplace or position
  • Legendary: Having the splendour of a legend
  • Wresting: To seize, things done violently
  • Maelstrom of fame: A large whirlpool of fame
  • Unscathed: Not harming nor damaging/untouched
  • Introvert: A reserved person
  • Spine of steel: Strong physique
  • Thrilled: Extremely excited
  • Extended family: Relatives
  • Gender biases: Partiality based on gender
  • Formidable: Difficult to defeat
  • Uncannily: Strange and careless manner
  • Indescribable: Impossible or difficult to describe
  • Cadre: A small group of people trained for a particular profession
  • Tryst: Meeting, encounter
  • Mishap: An accident
  • Nudged: A gentle push
  • Rigorous: Severity or strictness
  • Ticked off: Annoying someone
  • Collateral: Parallel, Corresponding
  • Lucrative: Producing a surplus/profitable
  • Daunted: To discourage
  • Paucity: Insufficient or too little
  • Hindrance: Something that holds back
  • Hurdle: An obstacle/barrier
  • Cower: To shy away something in fear
  • Vagaries: Unpredictable action
  • Fulcrum: Support
  • Aspersion: An attack on someone’s reputation and good name
  • Forfeited: Paying a penalty for a mistake
  • Complacent: Satisfied with one’s achievement
  • Roster: A list of individual or a group usually a team
  • Slew: A change of position for an organization

Saina Nehwal Questions and Answers

Question 1.
How did Saina relegate cricket to the inside pages? What medal did Saina secure in the event?
Answer:
On 22 October 2012, Saina Nehwal won the Olympic bronze medal. This news made headlines across the country. Cricket is the most followed sport all over the world. Any event relating to cricket makes headlines. But Saina’s Olympic win changed that when the news of Dhoni’s men winning 4-1 series victory against Sri Lanka was relegated to the inside pages.

Question 2.
Name the academy that trained Saina to be a world champion? Where is it situated?
Answer:
Saina trained at Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad.

Question 3.
How did Prakash Padukone compliment on her Olympic Win?
Answer:
The legendary badminton champion, Prakash Padukone complimented Saina saying, “Saina has played a very big part in popularizing badminton in India, and it has become a major sport in the country thanks to her stellar performance at the world level”.

Question 4.
What made Saina give up her academics?
Answer:
Saina was forced to give up her academic career, even though she was a brilliant student. She had to forgo her first year intermediate exams as it clashed with the Melbourne Common-wealth Games and later she also missed her supplementary exams because she was playing in the Philippines. Later as her sporting career soared she gave up her academic pursuit altogether.

Question 5.
What did Saina tell the coach after Apama Popat loses a match at the Commonwealth game?
Answer:
When Apama Popat a senior badminton player lost a match at the Commonwealth Games, Saina accousted her coach Vimalkumar and pleaded him to give her opportunity, confidently assuring that she feels that she can beat the British badminton player, who had won a match against Apama Popat.

Question 6.
Why does Saina call the year 2007 ‘the year of tears’?
Answer:
Saina call the year 2007 ‘the year of tears’ because the critics dismissed her success and questioned her talent.

Question 7.
What accoding to Parupalli Kashyap are the qualities that have contributed to Saina’s rise?
Answer:
Arjuna Awardee and senior badminton player Parupalli Kashyap analysed the qualities that contributed to her rise in the sport. It was because of her hardwork, dedication and her ability to push herself every single day to get better at her game.

Question 8.
What qualities of Saina P.V. Sindhu praises of?
Answer:
P.V. Sindhu praises Saina’s technicalities of the badminton game which inspired her to work hard, similar to Saina. She also praised Saina’s sincerity, committment and her successes which has established Saina as a top badminton player.

Question 9.
Name the two major awards that Saina has in her Wall of Fame?
Answer:
Arjuna Award in 2009 and Khel Ratna in 2013.

Question 10.
Mention the Indians who won in the men’s singles title at the prestigious tournament at Birmingham?
Answer:
Prakash Padukone in 1980 and Pullela Gopichand in 2001.

Question 11.
Name the two major international tournament Saina plays in the year 2009?
Answer:
Indonesian Open Super Series and Chinese Taipei Grand Prix.

II. Answer the Following Questions in About a Page Each:

Question 1.
What childhood incident does the author narrate in this biographical sketch to show her resilience? How did the resilience help her in her career?
Answer:
Saina was an energetic child. Her mother Usha recounts that when Saina was four years old, she cut her finger deeply while playing, but did not cry. Her mother was analysed at her daughter’s ability to with stand pain. She understood that her daughter was a tough girl and a fighter.

One time, after she played an underten tournament poorly her mother slapped her as she came off court. Saina’s peers laughed but saina told them that her mother had done that for her batterment This reflects that she clearly knew she had much to achieve and patiently trained hard and went on win Championships.

Question 2.
How did Saina venture into the field of sport?
Answer:
Saina’s father Dr. Harvir Singh Nehwal and her mother Usha were badminton champions. After the Nehwal family shifted to Hyderabad, Saina, one day accompanied her father on a visit to the Lai Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad.

He was considering hiring it for a tournament. While her lather busy negotiating the deal, Saina was playing with the requests. The noted badminton coach P. SS. Nani Prasad Rao, was impressed with the style in which she handled the recquet and suggested couching her over the summer. Thus began her sporting career. Her mother was also determined to make her an Olympic Champion.

Question 3.
How did Saina’s mother proved to be a “Support System in every way”?
Answer:
Saina’s mother was determined to make her daughter an Olympic champion. She helped Saina to focus on the game. Wherever she played badly her mother took her to task. Her mother would offer massages whenever her leg ached after regorous practice sessions. Whenever her mother felt she had not played well she took her task. Her mother taught her the art of winning or losing. Her mother was a tough task master, but she was Saina’s support system in every way.

Question 4.
What was Saina’s biggest asset according to her coach Pullela Gopichand? How did the two mutually benefitted each other?
Answer:
According to her coach, Pullela Gopichand Saina’s biggest asset is her unrelenting patience. He reveals that at the time he started coaching her she did not have a naturally perfect game. But he had analyzed that the only thing that she needed to win a game was a combination of dedication and hard work.

He praises her that patiently working towards the goal with power and grit. Eventually she mastered the game and soon because a world champion. Her success won bothof them accolades across the globe. Gopichand was given Indian’s top-honour for sport coaches, the Dronacharya award after Saina was honored with the Arjuna Award when she won the Indonesian Open Super Series title in 2009 and also the, chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold.

Question 5.
Why does Saina call 2007 as ‘the year of tears’? How did it help her intensify her practice?
Answer:
Saina calls 2007 ‘the year of tears’ because the naysayers and critics dismissed her success and questioned her talent. Saina’s parents stood by her, helping her understand the vagaries of winning and losing. With the family’s encouragement, however Saina was able to treat the dip as a learning curve, and the year became the fulcrum of her career.

Question 6.
Trace Saina’s journey to top 10 from the year 2008 to 2010?
Answer:
From 2008 to 2010, Saina consistently won many matches. In 2008, she Was ranked World No-20, though she missed winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics. A few months later she won the prestigious Chinese Taipei Open and by the end of2008 made her way into the top ten world rankings.

In early 2009, she became World Number nine and the first woman to win the Indonesian super series. She also won the Indian Open Grand Prix. The year 2010 proved to be her best year of her sporting career. She won the Indian open, Singapore Open, Indonesian Open and Hongkong open. At the Commonwealth Games – 2010 in Delhi, Saina climbed to World number 10 ranking after she won the Gold medal.

Question 7.
How did ‘Determination beget luck’ for Saina?
Answer:
The years of struggle and iron determination begot luck for Saina. She was the strong contender for the Gold medal for Rio Olympic games. When Saina finished runner up tp Marin at the All-England Badminton Championship in Birmingham in March which was one of the premier championship in the world of Badminton.

Amongst the many titles, Saina also won a silver medal in 2004 Commonwealth Games and a bronze in the 2012 London Olympics. She was given the Aijuna Award in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016. She has won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award which is the highest sporting honour in India.

Her stellar performaces in the game of badminton made her the country’s prized sports women. Today she is one of the highest paid athlets in India other than cricketers and has a fan following that rivals that of cricketers. She has become the role model for millions of girls aspiring for empowerment.

III. Answer the Following Questions in About two Pages Each:

Question 1.
Give an account of Saina’s journey till she is awarded the Bronze Medal at the London Olympics in 2012?
Answer:
Saina Nehwal is a professional badminton player from India. Saina Nehwal is the second daughter of Dr. Harvir Singh Nehwal andUshaRani, both professional badminton players. Bom on 17 march 1990, she grew up to be an energitic child. Saina and her sister spent a lot of their childhood days at the faculty club in Haryana Agriculture university, where her father was a professor. Her mother and father practiced badminton at the faculty club.

In 1996, her father was posted as principal scientist at the ICAR, Hyderabad. The family moved to Hyderabad. After the Nehwal family shifted to Hyderabad, Saina, one day accompanied her father on a visit to the Lai Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad. He was considering hiring it for a tournament.

While her father busy negotiating the deal, Saina was playing with the requests. The noted badminton coach P. SS. Nani Prasad Rao, was impressed with the style in which she handled the racquet and suggested couching her over the summer. Thus began her sporting career. Her mother was also determined to make her an Olympic Champion.

She helped Saina to focus on the game. Wherever she played badly her mother took her to task. Her mother would offer massages whenever her leg ached after regorous practice sessions. Whenever her mother felt she had not played well she took her task. Her mother taught her the art ofwinning or losing. Her mother was a tough task master, but she was Saina’s support system in every way.

According to her coach, Pullela Gopichand Saina’s biggest asset in her unrelenting patience. He reveals that at the time he started coaching her she did not have a naturally perfect game. But he had analyzed that the only thing that she needed to win a game was a combination of dedication and hard work. He praises her that patiently working towards the goal with power and grit.

Saina was a brilliant student also but unfortunately she had to give up academics altogether as she was busy in her emerging sporting career. She had inherited the skills the game through her genes. Her father Harvir Singh Nehwal, sacrified his career to promote his daughter’s sporting career.

His job as a scientist was not lucrative to support her but his determination to further her sporting career dreams compelled him to sacrifice his fledging career. Even though Saina’s Potential as a badminton player was not clear, he drew money from his provident fund six times and undauntingly turned down several career promotions, Which meant they had relocate to other cities away from Hyderabad where saina was training with the renowed Indian coach Pullela Gopichand. He also chose to remain in the same post for Saina’s sake.

As soon as her father realized her potential, he devoted himself to ensure she became an international badminton player. Saina needed only to concentrate on her training. She had to follow a strict regimen, no movies, parties or meals out. Though the family felt burdened by the expenses on her training and equipment, they somehow managed to fulfill it.

A contemporary of Saina, PampaDi Kashyap, who trained with her at the Gopichand academy says that both her parents being professional badminton players knew what Saina needed and guided her to in aquainting her to the skills needed for both state level and national level games.

Saina started exhibiting her talent for the game even as a beginner. The coach, vimal kumar says that she was very focused and intense girl and had that she endured the physical ngour better than her contemprories. These attributes in her prepaved her psychological to move towards success.

At the tender age of fourteen, Saina superisingly who the National junior Badminton championship in 2004. After she defended the title the following year in 2005, she was set to enter the senior level games. Her coach Gopichand praises her for her consistency and fearlessness. He says that she was an aggressive player and always attempted to improve her techniques with every game.

Apama Popat was the reigning queen of the senior badminton circuit. Not surprisingly, Saina lost the seniors title to her. But after saina won the Asian satellite. Tournament and the Uber Cup in 2006, sh was regularly playing in the seniors circuit.

When Apama Popat a senior badminton player lost a match at the Commonwealth Games, Saina accousted her coach Vimalkumar and pleaded him to give her opportunity, confidently assuring that she feels that she can beat the British badminton player, who had won a match against Apama Popat.

Despite their doubts they fielded her in the Commonwealth games – 2006 when she won all the matches against Singapore and rose to world number six.

All her coaches sing poens about her. Coach Kumar admires her for her hard work, dedication and her relentless improvisation of her game. He says that though she is not as skillful as the other players, her mental strength reflects in her game. Two ofher profound assets are her concentration and determination.

From 2008 to 2010, Saina consistently won many matches. In 2008, she was ranked world no-20, though she missed winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics. A few months later she won the prestigious Chinese Taipei Open and by the end of2008 made her way into the top ten world rankings.

In early 2009, she became world number nine and the first woman to win the Indonesian super series. She also won the Indian Open Grand Prix. The year 2010 proved to be her best year of her sporting career. She won the Indian open, Singapore Open, Indonesian Open and Hongkong open. At the Common wealth Games – 2010 in Delhi, Saina climbed to World number 10 ranking after she won the Gold medal.

Question 2.
‘Parents are indispensable entities in the life of a child’. Elucidate this quote with reference to the biographical sketch, ‘Saina Nehwal’?
Answer:
Saina’s father Dr. Harvir Singh Nehwal and her mother Usha were badminton champions. After the Nehwal family shifted to Hyderabad, Saina, one day accompanied her father on a visit to the Lai Bahadur stadium in Hyderabad. He was considering hiring it for a tournament.

While her lather busy negotiating the deal, Saina was playing with the requests. The noted badminton coach P.SS. Nani Prasad Rao, was impressed with the style in which she handled the recquet and suggested couching her over the summer. Thus began her sporting career.

Her mother was also determined to make her an Olympic Champion. Saina was an energetic child. Her mother Usha recounts that when Saina was four years old, she cut her finger deeply white playing, but did not cry. Her mother was anazed at her daughter’s ability to with stand pain. She understood that her daughter was a tough girl and a fighter.

One time, after she played an under-ten tournament poorly her mother slapped her as she came off court. Saina’s peers laughed but saina told them that her mother had done that for her batterment. This reflects that she clearly knew she had much to achieve and patiently trained hard and went on win championships.

Saina’s mother was determined to make her daughter an Olympic champion. She helped Saina to focus on the game. Wherever she played badly her mother took her to task. Her mother would offer massages whenever her leg ached after regorous practice sessions. Whenever her mother felt she had not played well she took her task. Her mother taught her the art of winning or losing. Her mother was a tough task master, but she was Saina’s support system in every way.

Her father Harvir Singh Nehwal, sacrified his career to promote his daughter’s sporting career. His job as a scientist was not lucrative to support her but his determination to further her sporting career dreams compelled him to sacrifice his fledging career.

Even though Saina’s Potential as a badminton player was not clear, he drew money from his provident fund six times and undauntingly turned down several career promotions, Which meant they had relocate to other cities away from Hyderabad where saina was training with the renowed Indian coach Pullela Gopichand. He also chose to remain in the same post for Saina’s sake.

As soon as her father realized her potential, he devoted himself to ensure she became an international badminton player. Saina needed only to concentrate on her training. She had to follow a strict regimen, no movies, parties or meals out. Though the family felt burdened by the expenses on her training and equipment, they somehow managed to fulfill it.

Question 3.
Saina’s achievement is intertwined with Harvir Singh selfless sacrifice. Illustrate?
Answer:
Her father Harvir SinghNehwal, sacrified his career to promote his daughter’s sporting career. His job as a scientist was not lucrative to support her but his determination to farther her sporting career dreams compelled him to sacrifice his fledging career.

Even though Saina’s Potential as a badminton player was not clear, he drew money from his provident fund six times and undauntingly famed down several career promotions, Which meant they had relocate to other cities away from Hyderabad where saina was training with the renowed Indian coach Pullela Gopichand.

He also chose to remain in the same post for Saina’s sake. As soon as her father realized her potential, he devoted himself to ensure she became an international badminton player. Saina needed only to concentrate on her training. She had to follow a strict regimen, no movies, parties or meals out. Though the family felt burdened by the expenses on her training and equipment, they somehow managed to fulfill it.

English Summary

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