Asian Games: Will Sania Mirza bid goodbye on a high?
After four Asian Games, eight medals, including two gold, India's tennis ace Sania Mirza would be justified in calling this as her last Asian Games tournament
Incheon: After four Asian Games, eight medals, including two gold, Sania Mirza would be justified in calling these as her last Asian Games. But seeing the way, she changed her mind from skipping to participating at the Incheon Games, she could well do an encore in 2018, when she will only be 31.
Sania Mirza celebrates winning the mixed doubles gold in the Asian Games yesterday
"I am happy that there was my contribution. Personally, it's my fourth Asian Games in a row and I have got medals in every single Asian Games I have been to. For me, to get eight medals in the last four editions is pretty good," she remarked. That was about as close she came to saying that this may be her last Asian Games.
But it is hardly the time to discuss and think about four years from now. Sania, after partnering Saketh Myneni for her second Asian Games gold — following the 2006 mixed doubles she won in the company of Leander Paes — said, she was happy with her Asian Games haul of two gold, three silver and three bronze from four Asian Games.
Not an easy win
"Today's final was not as easy as the scoreline (6-4, 6-3 to beat top-seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Hsien Yin Peng and Hao Ching Chan) might suggest. We had planned well for the match and were able to go through with it," she said.
Saketh Myneni takes a selfie with Sania Mirza after winning mixed doubles gold in Incheon yesterday. Pics/PTI
Earlier, she had said: "It has been a pretty good week. We (she and Prarthana Thombare) got a medal (bronze) in women's doubles which is huge because it's something that we never did. I had to be the leader. It's a young team we came here with, didn't come with the best team possible, especially with the guys. Five medals is pretty good," she said.
'I made the right choice'
Speaking about her decision to come Incheon, she said: "The minute I made the decision to come here, I knew it was the right decision. For me the most important thing was to give India the best chance of winning as many medals as possible. I did what I could and I got two in the two events I played (women's doubles and mixed doubles).
"I have a good rapport with these girls and I am always there to help if they ask. They are all of my sister's age, like babies for me. They are 7-8 years younger than me.
"Most definitely these are the best youngsters we have had in a while. My doubles partner (Prarthana) has some potential and is still pretty young. We need to build on this. I hope this gives them a lot of confidence that they can achieve certain things.
"I have held this flag for a long time. It will be great to pass it on to someone else. Hopefully, by the next Asian Games, they will be ready to win a medal by themselves."