Glasgow 2014: Champion Saina Nehwal to miss Games defence

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal's absence from Glasgow 2014 is not only a blow to her but also for India in the badminton team event
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 AugustCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

India's Commonwealth Games women's singles badminton champion Saina Nehwal has pulled out of Glasgow 2014.

Nehwal, the world number seven, was expected to be named top seed going into Monday's team and individual draw, but she has reluctantly withdrawn.

Citing fitness problems, she said: "It is an extremely difficult decision."

Nehwal's absence means Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour will be the second highest ranked women's singles player behind India's PV Sindhu.

Gilmour won her only meeting to date with Sindhu, the world number 11, in the second round of last year's French Open Superseries.

Earlier this month injury forced Malaysia's two-time Commonwealth men's singles champion and world number one with a thigh injury.

Nehwal, who defeated Scotland's Susan Egelstaff in the semi-finals on the way to gold four years ago, has beaten Gilmour in straight games in all three of their meetings.

She said: "I know I am a favourite at the Commonwealth Games. I am the defending champion but I still have to play and give my 100% to win the title. In sports, it is difficult.

"I had suffered a groin injury during the first round in Australia and then there were those blisters on my leg but I still won the title (the Australian Open Superseries).

"After I came back I had two and a half weeks but I took one week to recover, so hardly got a week to train.

"So I decided to pull out. It's heartbreaking."

Olympic bronze medallist Nehwal will now aim to be fit for the World Championships at the end of August and the Asian Games in Incheon in late September.

Her absence is a blow to India in the team event. The 2010 silver medallists are third seeds in the team event while Scotland are fifth seeds.

Top Stories