Jwala Rises Like a Phoenix to Prove Doubters Wrong
By N Jagannath Das | Published: 01st May 2014 10:23 AM |
Love her, hate her, but you cannot ignore Jwala Gutta. This 30-year-old doubles specialist has proved it time and again. This time with a bronze medal in the Asian Badminton Championship along with Ashwini Ponnappa. “Once again I have proved a point, although there is nothing to prove as I have achieved a lot for the country. But what pains me is when people start questioning my integrity and credentials,” Jwala said, here on Wednesday.
She added that winning the bronze in the ABC meet was a good achievement. But winning the world championship bronze was a different feeling as it was a very prestigious event. “It was one of my biggest achievements because no Indian woman had won a bronze in a world championship at the time.”
Jwala said it has been a habit to go through many bad phases but she has always bounced back. “The worst phase was in 2013. I knew that I would not be banned, but it was in bad taste and was a horrifying experience. I did not commit any big crime to face a ban. I was depressed and disappointed. Sometimes, you feel lonely and helpless. But thanks to my parents and my coach (S M Arif), I could come out of that phase. Also, my love for the game made me stronger mentally. God has given me the ability to bounce back and do well in a crisis,” she disclosed.
The left-handed shuttler revealed that at times she thought of quitting the game. “My mental toughness was tested to the full. I even thought of quitting the game. I feel sometimes my achievements are not recognised. It is important to know we never won any international doubles medal before me. Instead of being proud, they tried to pull me down, for what? I really never understood and still don’t understand,” she pointed out.
On the ABC meet, Jwala said she played really well but they were unfortunate to lose to the Chinese pair of Luo Ying/Luo Yu. “Ashwini and I combined well. I moved very well on the court and the strokes came off pretty cleanly. Ashwini is hitting the shuttle positively. If she continues that way, we will do well.
“I think the Chinese read the game very well. That day was exceptionally cold following a warm week. As a result, the shuttles became slow and we were not able finish it.”
She said she always trusted her abilities and capabilities. “I’m looking forward to the Uber Cup in Delhi. I will give my best. I’m more relaxed and there will not be much pressure.” She also mentioned that her focus was on the 2016 Rio Olympics. “The Asian Games and Commonwealth Games are important tournaments but my priority is the Rio Olympics. All these tournaments will be preparatory games for the Olympics so we will be primarily focusing on them,” she mentioned.
Jwala feels that doubles is not given importance like singles. “If I say anything they will say Jwala is a rebel, she only talks, but people forget my credentials. If you actually see, I have won all the major tournaments. You need to understand the game of doubles. In India, there is a misconception that doubles is only for lazy people. But doubles is a much harder and difficult event, which needs to be understood to be played well,” she concluded, adding that the duo hoped to break into the top 15 by the year end.