first_imgSaina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will be the only two who will be competing in the same category for the same medals amongst a record seven Indian shuttlers to qualify for Rio. And despite the five years and the invaluable experience gap that separates the two, in lead up to Rio, inevitably the Saina-Sindhu rivalry talk will resurface.We play with great spirit Interestingly Sindhu does not duck under but acknowledges the rivalry question. “Off the court we are friends. But on it, of course we have this rivalry. When we face each other I want to beat her and I guess it is the same with her. But we play with great spirit,” she tells India Today.The Saina-Sindhu rivalry was first seen as one between the queen and the contender. But with Sindhu also finding her way into the top 10, the rivalry now is more pronounced. Sindhu dwells further in the comparison. “Saina is a very experienced player. She is attacking but can sometimes get into rallies with me. Both of us have very different styles and strategies against each other.”I am not under pressure but excited Saina accomplished the Olympic medal barrier in her second attempt with the bronze at London; she now prepares for her third edition. While she has held her own and would now attempt to change the colour of the medal at Rio, for Sindhu it’s more excitement than pressure at her first Olympics. “Saina has played two Olympics before. So she knows what it takes. I will take it as it comes once I reach Rio. Of course I will try and win a medal. But for now I am just too excited,” she says.advertisementWe will fight for medals If they find themselves in separate draws and are able to find their A game, a dream clash for the same medal would be a red letter day for Indian badminton. “That would be a great occasion and bring lot of pride to Indian badminton. Both of us will fight for it. But I don’t know what the draw would be and if we do end up playing against each other,” Sindhu says.But the gap between qualification and medal rounds is a huge one and both 20 year old Sindhu and the more experienced Saina would know they need to withstand the ever so strong Chinese challenge so also that of Spanish Carolina Marin and that of Thai Ratchanok to get there.last_img

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