Threatened with a ban by the administrators and labelled an enfant terrible by her detractors, ace shuttler Jwala Gutta says such has been the “hurt and pain” of the last six months that she has not been able celebrate her bronze medal at the recent Asian Badminton Championships to the fullest.
India’s best doubles player, Jwala had to endure a bitter legal battle with the Badminton Association of India after its disciplinary committee recommended a life ban on her for allegedly delaying a match between Krrish Delhi Smashers and Banga Beats in the Indian Badminton League last year.
The 30-year-old Hyderabadi, who has brought many laurels to the country in her over-a-decade-long career, said the bronze medal at the Asian Badminton Championship has healed some of the pain that she went through last year.
“This medal is sort of revenge for me. I am now playing with vengeance. There is a lot of hurt and pain. If I would not have had to go through the trauma of what happened six months back, I would have enjoyed this medal win with more calmness,” Jwala said.
“Frankly, I don’t understand why I have to prove myself again and again. I have achieved enough and I am proud of my achievements. I won medals at Commonwealth Games, World Championship, I represented India in Olympics. Even the bronze at ABC is a first for Indian badminton. There is still no one in the team to replace me and Ashwini.
“We have achieved all that without support,” she added.
“Playing the next Olympics is my main aim. I started playing again after the break only because I want to win a medal at Rio Olympics,” Jwala said.
Asked about rankings, Jwala said: “I focus more on matches and performance… But I think a place inside the top 15 by this year end would be good.PTI