Top Indian shuttler Jwala Gutta has expressed confidence that she and her partner Ashwini Ponnappa would deliver their best to clinch a women’s doubles medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Jwala and Ashwini have won numerous laurels such as the gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the historic silver at the 2011 World Championships and another silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“Me and Ashwini are currently ranked world No.11. April 30 will be the decider who will qualify for the Rio Games and I am confident with total 16 pairs participating we will qualify comfortably. I am also confident that we will give our best in the Olympics and win a medal and make India proud,” Jwala said.
The pair found more success when they reached their career-best ranking of No.10 in September 2015.
“Less than a year to go for the Olympics, I hope we will give our best in the preparations and the tournaments leading up to the Games and finally win at the Games and make India proud,” said the 32-year-old player.
“We have China Open, Hong Kong Open, Macau Open lined up. We want to perform well there. If we qualify for Super Series’, we will play. We have to decide whether to play in the Grands Prix. Hopefully, with some good performance we can enter the World top-10 by the end of the year.”
Olympic Gold Quest, a programme to identify and support Indian athletes with a proven track record and who have the potential to win Olympic medals, announced their support for Jwala-Ashwini.
“I am very happy that OGQ has come to support us. We don’t need to think of anything else now other than playing our game. From nutrition, to physio to all aspects will be looked into by the OGQ. To get this kind of a support is a big thing. Moral support is huge,” she said.
The southpaw backed the appointment of Malaysian Tan Kim Her as doubles coach pointing out that it will help them a lot in their preparations.
“We needed a doubles coach for a long time. He will look into every aspect of our game, travel with us and I hope it will help us immensely to have a specialised doubles coach,” she said.
Jwala doubles partner Ashwini was also confident of their performance in the tournaments coming up.
“I thank the OGQ for supporting us. I am confident we will give our 100 percent in the matches and do well at the Rio Games and other tournaments lined up. We need to be more focused on our plans and what we aim at, then results will follow,” Ashwini said.