Controversy or not, Jwala Gutta has never shied away from voicing her opinions.
The 2010 Commonwealth Games doubles gold medallist expects more doubles champions from India since the country’s badminton infrastructure is top notch. At present, only Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty — ranked 10th in the world — are making the right moves.
“We are still banking on one pair [for the Tokyo Olympics]. Why don’t we have many doubles players? These are the right questions. I have been saying this for so many years. If we are comparing ourselves with China – they have four or five pairs in a draw. Whereas we have only one pair. We should ask the questions to [Gopichand, the chief National coach],” said the doubles exponent ahead of the Tamil Nadu Badminton Super League auction here on Friday.
Jwala wants the National doubles camp to be held separately, away from the Gopichand Academy in Gachibowli. “Doubles have to be separate. The National camp has to be moved out of that particular place. It is again whoever I like ‘I will let you play’ and whoever I don’t like ‘you won’t play’. It is still the same,” said the 37-year-old.
Jwala called the National camps centralised and monopolised. “When you don’t have the expertise why are you keeping it with you,” she said.
When asked about the induction of Mathias Boe, former World No.1 doubles player, as coach of the Indian doubles team, Jwala replied saying that nothing would change unless drastic steps were taken: “The whole attitude needs to change first. When I am not having 10 doubles pairs, what is the point? When you give the coach five or six pairs, how many can he [produce champions]. The whole ecosystem needs to change. What I am saying is that doubles camps should consist of 100 players that are 50 pairs. For that, you have to develop them from sub-junior (u-16) level,” she said.
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