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Saina bags World junior badminton crown

November 02, 2008 20:12 IST

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to clinch the World Junior Badminton Championship after a straight games victory in the final in Pune on Sunday.

The top seed got the better of ninth seeded Japanese Sayaka Sato 21-9, 21-18 in a match that lasted just 25 minutes.

"It is a great feeling to win it this time. The last time, in 2006, I had lost in the final, but I am happy that I clinched the title this time," Saina, who reached the quarter-finals of the Beijing Olympics, said after the match.

"I never thought that I would play so well. The first game was easier, but in the second game she was playing good smashes, but I was successful in catching her on the net. I played my backhands well, and so, overall, I am satisfied with my performance. It was an okay sort of a match."

"However, I reckon my semi-final match against Chinese Shixian Wang as the toughest in the tournament," she added.

With the Commonwealth youth gold and the World Junior title in her kitty, the world number 11 has now set her eyes on the China and Hong Kong Opens later this month.

"I am next playing China Open and Hong Kong Open this month and I am confident of doing well there as well," the National champion said.

National coach Pullela Gopichand said Saina played like a champion all through the tournament.

"She played like a champion. It is good to see her wining convincingly through out the tournament. She has really done well, hats off to her," Gopichand said.

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