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What made Saina Nehwal the first Indian woman to be ranked world No.1 in badminton

When the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings are revised this Thursday, Saina Nehwal will be the first Indian woman to be ranked No.1 in singles.

Current world champion Carolina Marin's lost to Ratchanok Intanon at the India Open Superseries semi-finals on Saturday, and this paved the way for Saina to the top spot ahead of her own semi-final, which she plays later in the day beating Spaniard Carolina in the absence of China's top ranked Li Xuerui. She will play her semi-final at the $275,000 event being held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex when she takes on Japan's Yui Hashimoto. Also read how Mary Kom trains.

But getting to this stage where she is world No.1 is no child's play. The disciplined life Sania has to lead would put anyone to shame. She gets up at 6 AM everyday and practises six times a week.

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She does two to four sessions of strength training and three to four sessions of endurance per week. Her strength training includes rowing, military press, dumbbell pullovers, heel raises, lat pull downs, etc. amongst others. She is strict about her diet and avoids junk food. She eats chicken for the strength she needs on the court.

In 2013, when Saina Nehwal's form was poor and she did not win a single title , her coach Pullela Gopichand helped her start on a new regime to lose weight and she has never looked back ever since. She was playing too many games and had injured herself which did not work in her favour all the more. She also felt her stamina was low and she could not breathe properly whilst playing. Therefore she decided she had to work on her fitness first if she wanted to get back in form.

The ace player's leaner frame helped her to cover the court more and also be more agile. In order to lose weight she went on a high-protein and low-carb diet consisting of boiled eggs and chicken primarily. This helped her build more muscle and lose fat. Read how Saina prepared for London Olympics.

In fact, Saina also advises Indian women to work out for 20 minutes every day to stay healthy. She never misses her workout and training which helps her stay in shape and also physically fit. Who according to you is the fittest female athlete?


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