Saina Nehwal says its tough carrying out IOC commitments alongside active international career

New Delhi: Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal says it’s not easy juggling between her active career at the highest level and playing her part as member of International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes’ Commission, as she wants to give 100 percent to both.

The London Olympic bronze medallist and winner of innumerable prizes at global events, Saina was appointed to the Commission in October last year.

“It’s rare for an Indian player to get that kind of honour. It’s a very big responsibility; it’s not going to be easy because I’m also playing at the highest level so I need to give 100 percent to the sport as well,” Saina was quoted as saying by Badminton World Federation (BWF).

Saina Nehwal maintained that she wanted to give her 100 percent to both commitments.. AFP

Saina Nehwal maintained that she wanted to give her 100 percent to both commitments.. AFP

She added, “But I have to spend a lot of time in this initiative because I have to discuss with the Commission about the sport, how to improve it, the problems of the players and the different sports.

“There are a lot of things involved in the Athletes’ Commission so it’s not only going to be my work, it has to be some people around me who’re going to support me and help me out with this.”

Her Rio Olympics campaign last summer was derailed by a knee injury and Saina said she is feeling much “lighter” on the court having undergone surgery and rehabilitation.

“My physiotherapist said he will get back in two to three months. He told me to believe in myself and stay positive. The one thing I had to work on was to get my strength back, which you lose after a surgery,” she said.

“He worked on my weaker areas; when I train now, it feels easier for me because all the areas were covered up very well. I feel stronger, better and lighter on the court.”

Saina also looked back at the time when she was going through one of her toughest phases in her career.

The 26-year-old said, “I have never had to undergo surgery in my career before. This was the first time that the doctor told me that I have to undergo a knee surgery. I was thinking if I was able to come back after that surgery, how much time it’s going to take me, so there were a lot of doubts in my mind.

“It happened during the Olympics, I was so scared. Will I be able to play again or not? That moment was very sad. I was mentally not prepared for it at all. I was crying in front of my parents and my coaches. It was going to be tough for me to come out of the surgery.”