Saina Nehwal shines bright for Indian badminton once again

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SummarySaina Nehwal's hard work over the years was rewarded by a perfectly-timed stroke of luck as she clinched a historic bronze medal in the London Olympics to cover new ground for Indian badminton in a mostly successful year.

saw her regain the third spot in world ranking.

But a knee injury suffered in Indonesia, spoilt Saina's performance in the second half of the year as she lost to Japan's Minatsu Mitani in the summit clash to see the French Open title slip away. Saina then exited early from the Hong Kong Super Series, a title she had clinched in 2010.

The 22-year-old Indian also bowed out of the BWF Super Series Final after suffering losses to Thailand's Denmark's Tine Baun, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and world number one Li Xuerui of China.

The year became more turbulent for Saina when she controversially exited from the first round of the Syed Modi India Grand Prix in Lucknow last week after being two-match points ahead, citing a knee problem.

Among the young guns, P V Sindhu was the most promising rising star for India as her performance in the international circuit saw her break into the top 20 in September.

Sindhu clinched the prestigious Badminton Asia Youth Under-19 title in July to make heads turn but her biggest victory came in September when she stunned the newly crowned Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the China Masters and reached the semifinals of the tournament.

The lanky shuttler also reached the semis of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold.

But a knee problem, which she sustained in China, saw her lose to Sayali Gokhale in the final of the Senior National championship in Srinagar and after that she skipped the World Junior Badminton Championship in October.

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