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Sania, A Volcano Of Talent
It was a heady day in 2003, when Sania Mirza burst onto the stream of Indian sport consciousness, an awareness that if India were to ever have a world beater in an individual sport , it would not be a hirsute male, but a member of the weaker, fairer sex.
Sania Mirza erupted onto the scene like a long dormant volcano, heralding the birth of a new breed of Indian athletes , who not only excelled at their sport but were media savvy and clever enough to carve an image, a niche for themselves, in games other than cricket.
She was smart, she was intelligent, she was articulate, she was pretty, she was sexy, she was photogenic and she had attitude with a capital A. She carried off the anachronism of a nose ring with aplomb and style. To top it all , she owned a killer forehand - the one that drew comparisons with Steffi Graf , her idol incidentally– , that was almost impossible to return when she dispatched the tennis ball with all the power and strength at her disposal. The forehand was flat and it was skiddy.
Sania Mirza had arrived on the stage of world tennis and Indian tennis would never be the same again. Or so we hoped.
Saina Nehwal completed a treble of wins last Sunday at the Indonesian Open. It was her 3rd consecutive tournament triumph ,an unbroken streak of 15 games without a loss. Saina is in the best form of her life and her ranking is now a stratospheric No. 3. The Indonesian Open ,though, lacked serious competition from the Chinese who preferred to compete in their local league. The Chinese are notorious for lying low before any major tournaments such as the World championship that is scheduled in the near future. They prefer to scout their opponents and exploit any detected weaknesses and in the meanwhile identify , groom and train their future stars. The Chinese depth in badminton and table-tennis is to be envied and emulated. Will Saina be able to carry her form into the world championship? Will the Chinese spring a surprise package , as they have been known to do before, and unveil a new star on the badminton horizon? Who knows? Only time will tell! But congratulations to Saina and good luck to her! Her star still shines bright in the barren sky of Indian sport.
Quote of the day:
You can go a long way with a smile. You can go a lot farther with a smile and a gun. – Al Capone
After a famous victory over Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Indian sport has another reason to celebrate with Saina Nehwal crowning herself with back-to-back victories at the Grand Prix India Open and the Super-Series Singapore Open. The Singapore Open is her second Super Series win following her victory at the Indonesian Open last year.
This is just the latest in a string of achievements by this young shuttler in a sport in which India is not renowned to be a powerhouse. Nonetheless, Indian badminton can boast of some noteworthy successes namely Prakash Padukone, the tragic Syed Modi and more recently Pulella Gopichand ,who also happens to be Nehwal’s coach.
This young 20 year old is the latest star in the firmament of Indian badminton and more importantly Indian sport. And that is something to celebrate because for a nation of over a billion people, we have far too few sport stars our youngsters can model themselves on.
Quote of the day:
I like life. It’s something to do. – Ronnie Shakes