The 26-year-old captured a bronze medal four years ago in London and finished runner-up at the World Championship last year. Her performance, marked by consistency, makes the World No.5 one of India’s most promising Olympic medal hopefuls.
The former World No.1 has been bogged down by a couple of injuries at the start of the year and as the Olympic Games start on August 5, she is confident of not only reaching the peak of fitness but also meeting the expectations of 1,250 million Indians.
“I feel I am fit, with some nagging injuries. I am running nicely. At the end of the day, it’s important that you reach the peak and play your best during that particular week. That’s what will count ultimately and will be the key,” Saina said in an email interview.
“Moreover, mental conditioning is as important as your physical strengthening. I have been blessed to be born with a go-getter attitude. I like to win and having a positive mind set really helps.” This will be Saina’s third Olympic Games.
Over the years, she has learnt how to approach a key tournament.“Rio is an ideal place to showcase my game. You can’t predict results, you need hard work and God’s blessing, apart from support of your family and fraternity,” Saina said.
“I take each tournament as it comes. Rio Olympics will also be like any other games. My approach to the game is very positive and I would like to keep it like that and focus on my game.
“Coming with an experience, I feel that on the day that I am 100 per cent fit, I have the potential to defeat anyone. I do not feel pressure too much. The moment you are on the court nothing else matters,” she added.
The competition for the women’s singles may be the fiercest in recent editions.