Jwala confident of Olympic qualification

Ace Indian woman shuttler Jwala Gutta today exuded confidence of qualifying for the Olympics in both doubles and mixed doubles, saying she and her partners would not have to defend any ranking points in India Open Super Series, the last qualifying event before London Games.

'It should not be a problem to qualify for the Olympics. Technically, if you see we don't have any points to defend here. Last time, we were knocked out in the first round in women's doubles and I didn't play the mixed doubles. So there won't be any pressure on us,' said Jwala, who will pair up with Ashwini Ponnappa and V Diju in women's and mixed doubles competitions.

Jwala and Diju are ranked world number 16 and are more or less through and the chances of Jwala and Ashwini, ranked 20th, qualifying for the London Games were enhanced after their first round opponents Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse withdrew from the tournament.

They are likely to take on Indonesian pair of Vita Marissa and Nadya Melati, against whom they lost in the first round of Asian Badminton Championship.

Asked if the thought of becoming the first Indian to qualify for Olympics in two events crosses her mind, Jwala said, 'It would be a special feeling if I qualify. I always believed that I can do something new. I am happy to put up a good show in doubles event. Now the Chinese players know who Jwala is. I feel I am fortunate. Not many get that opportunity to feel fortunate. I am privileged and hope, I could live upto the expectations of everyone,' she said.

However, Jwala said she does not want to think about the Olympics now.

'I will only talk about Olympics after I qualify, will chalk out plans and prepare well,' she said.

Asked about the draw of India Open Super Series, the multiple-time national champion said she expected a redraw after so many players pulled out of the competition.

'The draw is tough. I was shocked that there was no redraw after the with drawls, actually I was hoping for a redraw. But that?s okay,' she said.

'I go into a tournament to win. For me, every match is a final and I am focused on each match. Diju played very well after the gap of tournaments and I am really happy about it,' she added.

Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa had taken a break to prepare for the Asian Badminton Championship but they were knocked out in the first round in Qingdao, China. However, Jwala said they were just unlucky to lose the match and they were playing well.

'We played really well but just that results didn't go our way. We lost by two points. I think we were unlucky. They were a formidable pair and it is not possible to go with a particular strategy,' she said.

Jwala said she is working on her consistency.

'I have not brought any particular change to my game. I was working mainly on consistency. Indian players mainly lack on this aspect. I had worked hard for the past few months, hope I get good results here,' she said.

The 28-year-old also rued that India doesn't take doubles seriously despite the fact that it is a much tougher competition.

'We don't have a second string of doubles pair. If one pair is injured then there is no other pair to rely on. I believe the federation and even young players should take events like India Open importantly to produce future stars.'
Next Story
Share it