New Delhi:Excited at winning the Arjuna award, ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal today said the honour has motivated her to aim for a gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The 19-year-old Hyderabadi dedicated the award to her parents and coach Pullela Gopichand.
"I am happy that my performance and hard work is being rewarded. It motivates me to perform better. I want to dedicate it to my parents and coach," Saina told PTI.
"It is a recognition of my work and I'm excited but I think if I can win an Olympic gold for my country in front of my parents and coach, that would be the most emotional moment for me," she added.
Saina won the Indonesian Super Series in June, Chinese Taipei Grand Prix Gold in September last year and the Phillipines Open in 2006.
Saina said although she didn't have to struggle too much but the early days of her career were slightly tough.
"I feel I am lucky that I didn't have to struggle as much as others have to because my parents have taken care of everything since eight years when I was introduced to badminton.
"But I remember I had to travel 25 kms to reach the stadium for training and the way my father had to pay from his pocket in the initial years of my career. But for the last 5-6 years, it has been quite smooth," Saina said.
Saina is the third Indian after Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand to reach such heights in badminton but she doesn't want to be compared to legends like them.
"I don't want myself to be compared with them because I know I am still a kid in front of them. Even if some day, I win the Olympic medal or the All England Championships, I will still stay their student," she said.
Saina will next play in the Japan Open next month. "My job is train hard and practice and speed up my fitness and that's what I am doing," she signs off.