Saina to get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna

July 30th, 2010 - 4:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Ace Indian shuttler and world no.2 Saina Nehwal will get the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sports award.
The award’s committee headed by India’s legendary athlete P.T. Usha met here Friday to finalise the winners of this year’s national sports awards. A sports ministry official said the Arjuna Awards will be declared in next couple of days.

Saina has been in great form and recently won three back-to-back tournaments, including two Super Series titles. The 20-year-old from Hyderabad won the Indian Open Grand Prix, Singapore Open and Indonesian Open.

Earlier this month, she jumped one spot to World No.2, and it came as a major boost for the star shuttler ahead of the World Championships in Paris from Aug 23. Saina is now behind top-ranked Chinese Yihan Wang.

“I am very happy and it is a surprise for me. It has come just before the World Championships. In fact, the last couple of months were great for me. I have done consistently well this year,” said Saina.

“Everything has happened quickly in my career. But it has been tough for me as well. Things will be different now as expectations will be high from me,” she said.

Saina has been made the captain of the Indian team for the World Championships.

Saina, who won the Arjuna Award last year, was the first Indian girl to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympics in Beijing and the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships.

Last year, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna was awarded to Olympic bronze medallists boxer Vijender Singh, wrestler Sushil Kumar and four-time world champion woman pugilist M.C. Mary Kom.

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