New Delhi/Hyderabad, Aug. 7 (ANI): Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal was today given rousing receptions in New Delhi and her hometown Hyderabad after winning a historic bronze medal at the London Olympics.
Surrounded by security to keep enthusiastic fans at bay both in Delhi and Hyderabad, Saina, her father Harvir Singh and coach P. Gopichand waved to supporters. She had arrived in Delhi this morning on a British Airways flight.
The 20-year-old showed no signs of a jet lag, as she smiled and greeted several cheering fans, who jostled to catch a glimpse of her at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Later, a similar reception was accorded to her in Hyderabad, where she undertook a open bus ride through the city after visiting the premises of the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy.
Nehwal, who was seeded fourth in the world, defeated China's Wang Xin on Saturday after the latter retired with a knee injury, despite being one set up.
Nehwal won her match by default when her second-seeded opponent Wang collapsed with a knee injury. Wang left the court hobbling in obvious pain and the team doctor's prognosis was ligament damage.
Nehwal, a hugely popular figure in India, was 18 at the Beijing Olympics where she reached the quarter-finals only to lose out in three sets to Indonesian Maria Kristin Yulianti.
In 2010, on home territory and once more with the aspirations of the country swirling around her, Nehwal won Commonwealth Games gold, surviving a match point against Malaysia's Wong Mew Choo. (ANI)