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Jwala optimistic of India winning three badminton medals at C'wealth Games

Last updated on: July 16, 2014 09:52 IST

Jwala optimistic of India winning three badminton medals at C'wealth Games

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'In singles there's not much competition. I am hoping Saina and Sindhu reach the final. But in doubles you have the Malaysians, the English and the Singaporeans.'

With Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu in good form, India will surely win at least three medals from badminton in the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, says Jwala Gutta, the country's No 1 doubles player.

India won four medals from the discipline at the 2010 Games, but the doubles defending champion will not be playing in the mixed category in which she won a silver.

"We will win at least three from badminton; I am not playing the mixed doubles. I am thinking the women’s singles and doubles will do well.

"In doubles, it will be tough. But in singles there's not much competition. I am hoping that Saina and Sindhu reach the final.

"Even in rankings, I think there's nobody except Saina and Sindhu; but in doubles you have the Malaysians, the English and the Singaporeans," Jwala said.

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Image: Jwala Gutta
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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'We are on the right track for the Commonwealth Games'

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She went onto add that her doubles partner, Ashwini Ponnappa, with whom she will be defending their doubles title at Glasgow, is one of the best players in the world.

"Ashwini is one of the best players in the world. She's famous for her hard smashes; I am lucky to play with her."

Asked whether it would be tougher than last time, Jwala replied, "Why do you think it would be different? It does not matter; we have won outside India as well. For us every tournament is just a tournament. I always enjoyed playing in different places. I don't take pressure.

"We played well at the Thomas-Uber Cup, we did well in Japan and Indonesia in the run-up to the Commonwealth Games. We are on the right track," said Jwala, reflecting on the chances of the Indian team, which leaves for Glasgow on July 19.

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Image: Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Massive growth in all sports

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The shuttlers begin competition on July 24 and summit clash is on August 3.

Insisting that her ultimate aim is to do well in Rio 2016, the Hyderabadi ace went on to thank the Government of India for hosting the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

"It's been great... training well for last four months. I am working a lot on my strength. I want to thank the Government of India for bringing the Commonmwealth Games to Delhi; it has led to massive growth in all sports. There's a lot of public and media attention now," Jwala pointed out.

Indian badminton’s glamour girl, who was mired in controversy following a tweet against Saina Nehwal, said she was just speaking the truth and not against India's ace singles shuttler.

"I didn't tweet against her. We live in a democratic country. No matter how big or small you are everybody deserves respect," she said, referring to her tweet in support of Malaysian great Taufiq Hidayat in the build up to the Indian Badminton League.

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Image: Saina Nehwal
Photographs: Matt King/Getty Images

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Jwala had to endure a bitter legal battle with the Badminton Association

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The doubles specialist had criticised Saina for speaking against Hidayat. The Malaysian, who was bought by Hyderabad Hotshots at his base brise for $15,000 had said he deserved much more and it would be his first and last appearance in the IBL.

Saina responded by telling her teammate that he should realise that he was a retired player and should be happy with what he has got.

Jwala also had to endure a bitter legal battle with the Badminton Association of India after its disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on her for allegedly delaying a match between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats in the franchise league last year.

The prolonged stand-off, however, ended with the national federation dropping all the charges against her.

"I was just telling the truth, they had to take back the allegations. I am playing now. Everything is sorted out."

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Image: Jwala Gutta (right) and V Diju
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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'I don't create controversy'

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Jwala said she does not fear speaking the truth whether one likes it or not.

"I don't create controversy; I am a person who speaks her mind. If people don't like it that's their problem. I love badminton that has given me many things. If something is going wrong in badminton I will speak.

"Why do you take it as criticism? Why not just take it as a suggestion in a positive way? I don't lie, don't cheat people or have murdered anybody. Why should I not speak out when something wrong is going on?

"I am what I am. If my family, coach, S M Arif, my close friends say (I am wrong) then probably I will keep quiet; but they like me for what I am. Other people don't bother me."


Image: Jwala Gutta

Tags: M Arif , Jwala

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