By Sunanda Malakar,
Saina Nehwal, ace shuttler, and the recipient of Arjuna Award(2009), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award(2010), Padma Shri(2010) dedicates her Padma Shri award in honour of her coach U. Vimal Kumar. Hindered by multiple injuries followed by a series of disappointing losses including the 2014 BWF World Championships worked as the reason for her to switch from Pullella Gopichand Academy to Vimal’s guidance. It is he, under whose guidance Saina made her career rise up to the World rankings.
“ I would like to thank the ministry for giving me Padma Bhushan. It is a great feeling, very honoured. I would like to dedicate the award to my coach U. Vimal Kumar sir totally. I would like to thank the Ministry for giving me Padma Bhushan… I would like to dedicate the award to my coach U.Vimal Kumar Sir.” Saina said. The 25-year old Olympic Bronze medallist also added, “Also I would like to thank my parents, physio Sidhharth and trainer Deckline Leitao for supporting me so much…”