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Jwala Gutta says Indian badminton doubles players are treated unfairly, takes guts to be one

New Delhi: Reiterating the need to support Indian doubles shuttlers, Jwala Gutta on Tuesday said she wants to use her wealth of experience and join the Badminton Association of India (BAI) as an advisor to help out the players and address their recurring issues.

"I think I have enough experience and I have won number of titles and medals for my country to be the best person to help the doubles shuttlers. I want to join the association in the administration, may be as an advisor to address the plaguing issues of Indian doubles," the Indian doubles specialist told reporters.

Jwala, who won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010 and silver at 2014 Glasgow edition, said doubles doesn't get the sort of support singles players get in India and unless it is improved, the country can never become a dominant force.

Jwala Gutta in action with her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa, before the leading Indian pair split in November. AP

Jwala Gutta in action with her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa, before the leading Indian pair split in November. AP

"We have always been critical of doubles performance(s). The consistent support that singles player are getting is way more than doubles, it is 100:1. We hardly get any support, the only support we get is from the government but it is not enough if we have to perform consistently at the highest level," she said.

"Yes, the singles players are doing well and they are also being supported more. You have to analyse why doubles is not doing well. Doubles have zero support as of now even now in terms of sponsorship, medical support, nutrition.

"We have always been given step-motherly treatment and nothing has changed in all these years. We are here only because we want to be here and there is no support. Probably this is the last phase of my career but then we still don't have the doubles culture. We don't want to understand what sort of support or lack of it is there in India. It takes guts to take up doubles in India.

"I have stopped playing mixed doubles after London, why we didn't have any pair this time, where are the players. We are only remembered in the team championship and then forgotten. The doubles coach Tan Kim Her came just nine months before the Olympics, do you think he can change everything in nine months.

"I was the one who spoke about the need to have a doubles coach after London... It takes time, I don't think our new coach has still adjusted to the system," she added.

On the 11-point scoring system, which is being used at the second edition of Premier badminton League (PBL), Jwala said: "In 11-point system anything can happen. Even if you have the world No 1 pairs then also no guarantee. It really doesn't matter in this format.

"The beauty of the game is strength, stamina and technique and when you shorten the game, technique goes for a toss and the quality of badminton will surely go down in this system."

World No 2 Jan O Jorgensen, who is also part of the Delhi Acers, agreed with Jwala.

"I also think seeing Ashwini come close to beat Marin says it all. My view is it is good for audience and viewers and it is a good product and I like to be part of it even though it is hard for higher ranked players to keep their records. I think everybody has a chance in this format and also we had a tough schedule between matches with a lot of travelling," Jorgensen said.

"I don't have to practice as hard as it is not so tiring in this system. We have to find a balance between the 21 and 11 point system if they have to try international circuit."


Updated Date: Jan 11, 2017 14:55 PM

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