Badminton players Gutta Jwala and Prajakta Sawant are now focussing on the All England championship which is underway

Brushing aside the recent controversies, World Championship bronze medallist Gutta Jwala and Prajakta Sawant were more than pleased to go do All England championship which is underway.

“Obviously, it is not going to be easy for me personally having taken a long break from training also,” says Jwala, training under Dronacharya S. M. Arif at Fateh Maida Indoor Stadium.

“Definitely, we are aware that we have to go through the qualifying rounds because of our current rankings,” says Jwala, who will be partnering Prajakta for the first time in any event.

Good combination

“I always believe that she is a very special doubles player immensely capable of coming up with good results. Hope, we form a good combination,” the many-times Senior national doubles champion from Hyderabad pointed out.

For her part, Prajakta is not keen to talk about the court case which she filed alleging discrimination in selection against the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand. “I am not going to discuss about that. Right now, training is crucial and I am very keen to make a good start with Jwala who is a champion player in doubles,” says the Mumbai-based Prajatka.

Interestingly, Jwala reminds that at this juncture all that she and her partner hope for is consistency. “We cannot discuss about change in technique or styles now. We are working hard and hope for the best,” says Jwala insisting that nothing big should be expected of them given the backdrop of recent developments.

Wonderful support

Prajakta confesses that the disputes with the Badminton Association of India did hurt her badly but she is not going to keep thinking only about that. “I always believe that I can be a very good doubles player and am grateful to my parents and Jwala for all their wonderful support when I was terribly down,” she explains.

For Jwala, it is her 10th All England appearance with best performances being pre-quarter-final appearances twice — once each in mixed doubles and women’s doubles.

“Well, since Ashwini Ponappa (with whom she won the World championship bronze) has promised to partner Pradnya Gadre till April, I did not want to disturb her plans,” reminds Jwala. But why partner Prajakta? “As a player I know how difficult it is to fight system. I just felt she needed some support and I decided to do that. Let us not forget she is a very good player,” was her reply.

Will this duo feel any pressure because the focus will be on them for all wrong reasons? “We don't think so. We have a job to do - play as well as we can taking it game by game,” they say even while thanking Arif and SAAP coach Goverdhan Reddy for helping them to stay focussed.

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