London: Minutes after Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal was awarded the women’s singles bronze medal play-off against Xin Wang of China Saturday, mentor and coach Pullela Gopichand said she would have won anyway if the match had gone on in spite of Saina losing the first game.
“It was unfortunate that Wang had to retire. I feel that Saina would have won anyway if the match would have gone on,” said national coach Gopichand here at the Wembley Arena.
“It is a great victory and this is huge for Indian badminton. Saina was shocked when she lost the first game. Nevertheless a win is a win,” added Gopi Chand.
A former All England champion, Gopichand also felt that the Chinese shuttler was getting a little weary as the match progressed.
“She was a little tired and I think she pushed herself a little too much.”
Saina Nehwal’s Olympic bronze medal ended India’s badminton campaign on a successful note. Earlier in the tournament, Parupalli Kashyap became the first male player from the country to reach the quarters only to lose against top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia.