Asian Games 2018: Saina Nehwal unaware of her record due to Gopichand's no-mobile policy

Aug 27, 2018, 07:40 IST | Ashwin Ferro

Saina Nehwal unaware of becoming the first Indian individual badminton medal-winner in 36 years due to coach Gopichand's no-mobile policy during events

Asian Games 2018: Saina Nehwal unaware of her record due to Gopichand's no-mobile policy
India's Saina Nehwal returns to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon during the quarter-final yesterday. Pic/AFP

Saina Nehwal created history yesterday by becoming the first Indian in 36 years to be assured of an individual medal at the Asian Games, after the late Syed Modi won the bronze at the 1982 New Delhi Asiad. Incidentally, Saina had no clue about achieving the record following her 21-18, 21-16 quarter-final victory (losing semi-finalists are given bronze medals) over Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon here.

Strict Gopichand
Saina revealed that chief national coach Pullela Gopichand and herself were wondering who was the last Indian individual medal-winner at the Asiad. She obviously couldn't google it because coach Gopi does not permit his players to use their mobile phones during events. "I didn't know about this record. I'm not allowed to use my mobile phone during tournaments as it could be a distraction and at such an important tournament like the Asian Games. One cannot afford even the slightest distraction," Saina said after her win.

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu

PV wins too
Moments later, PV Sindhu also assured the nation of an individual medal as she rallied to beat Thailand's Nitchaon Jindapol 21-11, 16-21, 21-14. "She [Jindapol] has changed her game a bit and is now thriving on rallies, so I was taken by surprise. I also made too many errors in the second set," said Sindhu. The Rio Olympics bronze medal-winning shuttler was also pleased to be a part of the record, but said she wants more now. "It's great that two of us are going to win two individual medals for the country, but I would like to take this forward. "We have our semis coming up and I would like it to be a gold medal for Indian badminton," said Sindhu.

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