Jwala, Ashwini to get support from OGQ

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, the Indian women’s doubles pair ranked 11 in the world, will be supported by Olympic Gold Quest. The organisation will help the badminton duo towards their preparations for the Rio Olympic Games and after.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Poonappa... new members of the OGQ family.   -  PTI

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, the Indian women’s doubles pair ranked 11 in the world, will be supported by Olympic Gold Quest. The organisation will help the badminton duo towards their preparations for the Rio Olympic Games and after.

The shuttlers currently train together under a Malaysian coach, specialising in doubles, in Hyderabad, as part of a Badminton Association of India plan. The OGQ support is in addition to this and is based on a request from the players.

As per the arrangement, OGQ will assist the two internationals in any aspect of preparations for the Rio Games. Ace cueist Geet Sethi and badminton icon Prakash Padukone co-founded the non-profit organisation to help Olympic medal hopefuls.

Jwala said: “We can focus on playing from now on. Earlier we used to handle a lot of issues other than badminton. Now that phase is over.”

  The top 16 pairs in the world will get a chance to compete in Rio. “We are 11th and looking at returning to the top 10. We are not promising a medal, but we will work hard to get there,” Jwala added.

The duo won a World Championship bronze medal in 2011 and reached the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Championship. “We will play the China Open, the Hong Kong Open and Macau Open and look to qualify for the Super Series finals,” said Jwala. “In case we want to play in additional competitions, at our own expense, OGQ will assist us.”

OGQ CEO, Viren Rasquinha, said: “We have been working with both for four months now, got their blood and other tests done. We want them to be at their best in Rio. They can take help from OGQ or any of our numerous associates, experts in various fields, to help their preparations.”

Jwala and Ashwini have been included in the Talent Olympics Podium (TOP) scheme, a government initiative to help Indian sportspersons prepare for the Olympics.

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