Jwala says Sindhu's success aided by right support system

Sindhu's success a reminder of what an athlete can achieve with full support, says Jwala Gutta.


Jwala Gutta believes she could have achieved more if she had the support system which is in place now.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

Jwala Gutta and Sruthi Kurien achieved remarkable success at a time when they didn't have the support system that is in place now. Their achievements are a distant memory to most.

But the two have no regrets and are sporting enough to acknowledge the magnificent success of P.V. Sindhu and B. Sai Praneeth.

For the record, Jwala — partnering Ashwini Ponnappa — gave India a World Championship bronze in 2011, the first women's pair to do so. She was also the first Indian woman to win a Super Series title, partnering V. Diju for the gold in Malaysia. Saina Nehwal was yet to make her mark then.

READ: Sindhu's world title red letter day for Indian badminton

"Hats off to Sindhu for pulling off such a sensational gold in the recent Worlds. She worked her way really hard and in a way served a reminder of what any athlete can achieve if the support is there on all fronts,” Jwala said.

"Yes, the script would have been different if we had played in a system similar to the one existing now,” insists Jwala. “It is a pity that even after our Worlds bronze we didn’t get the kind of support we should have got,” she said.

“We achieved many firsts despite all odds and wish the current crop to produce better results given the kind of infrastructure available,” she said.

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Sruthi, the quiet achiever, won a record 12 national women’s doubles titles with Jwala as her partner between 1997-2009.

Sruthi recollected how the players didn’t even have a one-stop training centre during her playing days, a stark contrast to the world-class centres the current crop enjoys.

“Sindhu had the privilege of preparing according to her needs to realise her dream of a World championship gold,” she said.

“Yes, the concept of Super Series had just begun then and our biggest win was the 2008 Bulgarian Grand Prix. But, again, we didn’t have the kind of scientific training and tournament exposure we needed then,"Sruthi said.

"Yes, it is a question of pride that we still could win the 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze (with Jwala).

"But one should not forget Saina’s contribution. She was a fearless young shuttler who laid a solid foundation in women’s singles for the others to emulate at the highest level," Sruthi reminded.

“I won’t like to indulge in wishful thinking and have no regrets. But it is undeniable that all the current players have the right kind of support mentally, physically and emotionally too. For us then, all these jobs were done by Arif Sir and he did to the best of his ability,” she said.

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