Nehwal primed for Rio success

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Nehwal primed for Rio success
Saina Nehwal has developed a lot more strokes.

Published: Wed 29 Jun 2016, 10:33 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Jun 2016, 12:40 AM

 Saina Nehwal is better equipped to win a medal in Rio in August than the Indian shuttler was when she claimed a bronze at the London Olympics four years ago, former All England champion Prakash Padukone said.
Hopes that the former world number one can turn bronze into a first Olympic gold medal in the sport for her country were raised when Nehwal won the Australian Superseries title. Rio will mark a third Olympics for Nehwal, who beat former world champions Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Wang Yihan before overpowering China's Sun Yu in the final in Sydney.
"Saina has a lot more variety now," former men's world number one Padukone said in an interview.
"I think she plays a lot more at the net now. Earlier her game was more or less predictable. She had a few strokes, she used to keep playing them and there were not many variations.
"Now she has developed a lot more strokes, specially at the net. She is much more confident and that has made a big difference." The victory in Australia came at just the right time for Nehwal, who had failed to reach a World Superseries final since last November in China and was returning from an Achilles injury she sustained at the end of last year.
Padukone, who won the All England title in 1980 long before badminton was admitted to the Olympics in 1992, said the 26-year-old's game just needed a bit of tweaking.
"Tactically she can do a little bit more. Maybe a plan A and plan B, which I'm sure she already has," said Padukone.

By Reuters

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