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Saina keen to regain world No. 1 ranking.

SAINA NEHWAL has been the World No. 1 for a total of five weeks but has not been at the top for a consistent period as Spain's Carolina Marin has become the numero uno player.

The Indian ace is now preparing for the world championships in Jakarta in August,and one of her goals is to have a longer reign at the top.

" She is definitely more motivated and wants to get back as world No. 1 and hold on to her position,"Saina's coach Vimal Kumar told M AIL T ODAY . Saina would be eager to improve her record at the world championship where she has not gone beyond the quarter-finals.

" At the moment,we are asking her not to focus on a particular tournament because that puts pressure. There are specific targets to be achieved,but the focus is on overall development. We are working on her on-court movement,improving strength and endurance. The next step would be to work on the tactical aspect of her opponents' game,map analysis etc,"Vimal said.

The sports ministry has provided Saina financial assistance

assistance to employ a full-time physiotherapist. She has been working with physiotherapist Siddharth Sakalle for the last six months. Sakalle has worked with the men's boxing team and also with Olympic medallist M. C. Mary Kom. Saina also has a trainer and a physical conditioning expert helping her at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru.

She is looking for a masseur,and may explore the possibility of engaging a mental conditioning expert or sports psychologist at some point.

" It has become very important for top athletes to have a team ( support staff) around them. It helps in enhancing performance at the highest level. The physios,trainers etc have played a major role in the performances of elite athletes like Saina,Sindhu etc. Their role in recovery during training sessions and tournaments is immense,"said Vimal.

" The change has taken place in the last four or five years.

Lot of credit goes to the sports ministry,and organisations such as OGQ who have come forward to support athletes by providing them the best facilities."

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 26, 2015
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