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Jwala-Ashwini pair eyes Canada title ahead of Rio Games

June 27, 2016 21:49 IST

IMAGE: India’s doubles pair Jwala Gutta (left) and Ashwini Ponnappa. Photograph: PTI.

Rio-bound Indian women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa will look to boost their confidence ahead of the Olympic Games when they start their title defence at the Canada Open badminton tournament, starting in Calgary on Tuesday.

2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallists, Jwala and Ashwini didn't have the best results in the run up to the Rio Olympics and the duo will look to put their best foot forward when they take the court here with just a little more than a month to go for the Games.

Jwala and Ashwini had helped India win a second bronze in Uber Cup in May and also reached the quarterfinals of the China Masters in April and New Zealand Open in March, beside a semifinal finish at the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in January.

The World No. 16 pair have got a bye in the opening round here and will clash straight in the quarterfinals.

Another Rio-bound pair -- Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy-- too will look to sharpen their skills ahead of the Games when they start their campaign against local combo of Timothy Chiu and Jason Anthony Ho-Shue in men's doubles on Wednesday.

Among other Indians in the fray, Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy, Sai Praneeth and RMV Gurusaidutt look to lay claim to the crown in men's singles. It has been a difficult season for all of them plagued by injuries and bad form.

"It has been tough last few months with injuries. I had injured my left foot last year and then I suffered an injury at right foot. I played a couple of matches in public sector. But I have no targets in this event," Prannoy told PTI.

There will also be some young shuttlers such as Harsheel Dani and Pratul Joshi.

In women's singles, Tanvi Lad and Ruthvika Shivani will carry India's charge in the absence of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu, taking on Denmark's Julie Finne-Ipsen and Kyleigh O' Donoghue of Canada, respectively.

Among others, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar will also count their chances in the men's doubles event, while N Sikki Reddy, Jakkampudi Meghana and Poorvisha Ram will also participate in the tournament.

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