Badminton player Ashwini Ponnappa, who recently resumed her successful doubles partnership with Jwala Gutta, stated that the union is “slowly falling back into place”. Jwala had taken a break from the sport after the 2012 London Olympics.
The pair won a bronze medal in the women’s doubles event at the Asian Badminton Championship at Gimcheon (South Korea) two weeks ago — their best show since the duo’s return. “It is slowly falling back into place. We have just started playing together (again), and things worked out well,” Ashwini said at an event hosted by the Tom’s Badminton Academy here on Tuesday, where she conducted a free badminton clinic with fellow India international Anup Sridhar.
“I was very happy to reach the semifinals at the Asian Championship, but once you reach the last-four, you want to do even better. I am a little disappointed with the way we lost,” she said.
Asked if the outspoken nature of her partner Jwala affected her performance on the court, she replied: “No, never. Everyone knows that Jwala is outspoken and dynamic in nature. That is way she is. At the end of the day, it is about getting good results and playing good badminton.”
The doubles specialist remarked that the bronze medal comes “at the right time”, ahead of important events like the Commonwealth Games (July-August), the World Championship (August), and the Asian Games (September-October).
One event which has been pushed out of the calendar is the Indian Badminton League (IBL), which was launched last year. The IBL — it was set to take place in September — has been postponed due to a crowded international schedule. The move has disappointed Ashwini, who played for the Pune Pistons in the first edition.
“The IBL was a good event. I got to learn from many fine players, and the exposure was fantastic. Also, it was taken to a lot of different cities around the country, unlike earlier events which were centred around Delhi. I hope it does not get postponed again,” she said.