We aim to break into top 10 prior to Olympics: Ashwini

Pavan Suresh / 06 July 2015

The Indian pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Jwala Gutta, who won the Canada Open Grand Prix title, said that their main aim is to break into the top 10 and also qualify for the Rio Olympics. For the doubles the top 16 pairs will qualify and we have to be in top 10. Ideally we want to be number 10.

The process for qualification started this May and ends next may. There are quite a few tournaments left to qualify but until the last moment anything can happen. It is still a long way to go. When we qualified for the London Olympics in 2012 we had to wait till the Indian open and had we lost in the quarters we would not have qualified.

Both Ashwini and Jwala Gutta, who complement each other, are ranked 13th in the World and their first major outing is the World Championship in Jakarta where the pair want to win a second medal. Ashwini said that I would love to win a medal at the World Championships. These two had won a bronze medal in 2011 to create history and both are working on winning another medal for country.

Ashwini welcomed the appointment of specialized doubles coach. The doubles pair for India is a big problem. The other countries like England, China, Japan have coaches for mixed doubles and women’s doubles. All these countries have 5-6 pairs. Ashwini said that we have not done well against the Chinese pairs as desired. We need to work hard and practice more, needs extra edge to get over them and beat them.

I hope that things are going to be better with proper support for doubles. The men’s doubles pair and mixed doubles pair is a major problem for Indian badminton. 

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