Hyderabad: Shuttlers Anup Sridhar and Saina Nehwal are hoping they will return from Beijing Olympics with a medal.
Both Anup and Saina already have impressive wins to their credit and have strong belief that this could be their Game.
Saina is just 18, but on those young shoulders rests a wise head. Ranked 18 in the world she has already notched up some good results such as reaching the semi-finals of the Singapore Open. It is bound to boost her confidence going into the world's biggest sporting event. But former All England Champion and coach Pullela Gopichand has his worries.
"Although performances have been good, we have not been really consistent. A lot can happen at the Olympics because of the pressure factor and various players. I am sure that our guys can do well at this Olympics," Gopichand says.
But the young Saina knows only too well how to deal with pressure and expectations.
"I felt last year that if I take pressure I couldn’t play very well. So I just want to play freely as I played in the last three tournaments, which was an excellent performance by me. So I think I should just be just focused and give my 100 per cent and if I win one or two rounds I can say what will happen next," Saina says.
Then there is 25-year old Anup. He may not have had a good outing in a few tournaments, but his performance at the World Championships, which saw him beat Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, would definitely keep his confidence levels high as well.
"He did not do so well at Singapore and Indonesia but his performance in Thailand was very encouraging. Going by that and his performance we can expect some good results from him as well," Gopichand hopes.
Indian shuttlers have never gone beyond the second round at the Olympics but Anup and Saina will be hoping to change that.
(With inputs from Sunayana Kanchann)