BAI shifts doubles camp to Delhi in wake of Jwala Gutta-Gopichand spat
What's the story?
It is no secret that Jwala Gutta and Pullela Gopichand do not see eye to eye on many occasions. It has gotten to a point where the 33-year old has refused to join Gopichand's badminton academy in Hyderabad. DNA India has reported that in lieu of this, the Badminton Association of India will shift the doubles training camp to Delhi for the next Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games.
A senior BAI official said "IG stadium authorities have shown their inability to host the doubles camp and suggested the Delhi University indoor hall. However, we’ve found out that there are no proper lodging facilities on the campus, so we’ve again requested the SAI to explore IG stadium.”
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Jwala had accused India's former number 1 male badminton player of being biased towards his own proteges. Before the Rio Olympics, Gutta was livid when she found out that she and her doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa were not included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
Gopichand defended himself by saying that he had recommended their names for the TOPS but the committee were insistent on monitoring the pair's performance before inducting them into the scheme.
The heart of the matter
The shifting of the doubles camp is a major blow to the Hyderabad coach because it would mean that legendary Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her would not be in Hyderabad to oversee operations and monitor the progress of the players in the academy. The BAI received permission from the Sports Authority of India to shift the training camp to the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium.
As a result of the ego war between Gopichand and Gutta, many BAI officials are under the impression that it could result in all badminton activities being spread over numerous facilities across the country. Gutta also has a few supporters in her crusade against the Hyderabad coach.
After such a rift between two of India's top badminton names, one needs to wonder whether this would affect the future of Indian badminton for the better or worse.Published 02 Sep 2017, 14:22 IST