Saina targets All England to get back into groove after injury

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Saina targets All England to get back into groove after injury
Mumbai:  Saina Nehwal has targeted the weeks leading up to next month's Yonex All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham to get back to her prime form for the 2011 season after an ankle injury reduced her effectiveness on the court.

"I am targeting the weeks before the All England Championships to become fully fit. My ankle is still strapped and I'm not fully fit now though I feel much better than before," said the ace shuttler here last evening after being felicitated at a function on the Bombay Gymkhana lawns.

The All England Championships are to be held from March 8-13 and the world No 5 will be up against the cream of women shuttlers from around the globe, including top Chinese rivals, to prove her mettle.

Saina's progress late last year, after she won three successive Super Series titles and the gold medal in the Delhi Commonwealth Games, got stymied when she suffered an injury after the Guangzhou Asian Games and it showed when she played in the Korean Open.

"I was not fully fit in the Korean Open. I missed five weeks of training and had just one week to practice. My ankle is still strapped and it will take me some more time to become fully fit," she said.

The Hisar-born, Hyderabad-based Saina, who has slid down from No 2 in December to her current ranking, lost to Japan's Sayaka Sato in three games in the Korean Open in the last week of January.

"After the All England I will be playing in the Swiss Open. My focus in 2011, which is a crucial year, will be to win as many tournaments as possible and another major event I am targeting is the world championships (Aug 8-14 in London)," Saina said.

The 21-year-old said this year, because of the change in the rules by the world body BWF, the top Chinese players would have to play a number of tournaments.

"I would like to play them as much as possible and the change in rules would see them play in a lot of tournaments."

About her other big goal, getting a medal in next year's London Olympic Games, Saina said it was quite far away to get her to focus on it currently.

"I want to be fully fit and not get injured. But injuries do happen if you are playing," she said.

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