Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa part ways

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G. Jwala, India’s premier women’s doubles shuttler, confirmed that she has decided to part ways with partner Ashwini Ponnappa.

Jwala informed The Hindu on Tuesday that the decision was taken before the Rio Olympics itself as both felt that “things were not going as well as they wanted them to.”

“I am not sure whether I will be playing women’s doubles right now.

“I am only training in mixed doubles with Manu Attri and never know whether I will play women’s doubles again,” said Jwala when asked whether she had chosen a new partner.

“It was not a difficult decision since it was on the cards. It is like a bad marriage which cannot continue,” she said.

“I have had a good run with Ashwini and will cherish the great moments we had on court. I think the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold was the best. The World championship bronze, too, was another special moment in our partnership,” said Jwala.

“I have nothing personal against her. In fact, we both discussed this and agreed that the best option was to part ways,” she pointed out.

“Yes, women’s doubles is not getting the due it deserves from people who matter even in the badminton fraternity. That was also a big factor for the frustration levels, which were often too high, for the way we have been treated indifferently over the years,” said Jwala.

“As things stand, I have not taken a call on quitting the sport. I am still enjoying it and will keep playing till I get bored,” she said.

Change is fine

For her part, Ashwini said a change had to come somewhere down the line and she was fine with the decision to go separate ways.

“I think Jwala has had a great run in the circuit and may be playing in mixed doubles more now. But, I am keen to play both women’s doubles (with Sikki Reddy) and mixed doubles (with Nandagopal),” she said.

“I don’t see it as a painful decision. For, we have had our share of success at the highest level. We have to move on. It is as simple as that,” said Ashwini.

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