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Jwala Gutta angered by a newspaper report undermining Indian doubles badminton teams

FEATURED WRITER
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Modified 20 Dec 2019, 10:34 IST
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 03:  Silver medalists Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta of India pose in the medal ceremony for the Women
Jwala Gutta is India’s most successful doubles specialist

What’s the story?

Indian badminton ace Jwala Gutta reacted angrily to the insensitive reporting of the ongoing Badminton Asia Championship by a reputed Indian newspaper. Although all the Indian doubles teams were knocked out of the competition in the first round, Gutta didn’t take lightly a report, a few lines of which read: “Though not much was expected from the doubles teams…”

 

The shuttler took to Twitter to vent her frustrations at the disregard for doubles badminton by the media, adding a caption that read: “Though no one ever cared for doubles and the doubles players...these irresponsible statements is definitely what we don't need!!”

The context

The 2017 Badminton Asia Championships started on the 25th of April in Wuhan, China and will continue till the 30th of this month. Only PV Sindhu remains of the Indian contingent, as Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy and Saina Nehwal were all knocked out.

Jayaram managed to get past the first round but Prannoy and Nehwal made first round exits. Sindhu will face He Bingjiao in the quarter-finals. While Sindhu has kept alive India’s hopes in the singles, the doubles teams all made exits in the first round.

The heart of the matter

The men’s pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy and the women’s pairs of Ashwini Ponappa, Sikki Reddy and Meghana Jakkampudi, Poorvisha S Ram bowed out of the tournament in their respective first round matches. The mixed doubles pairing of Sikki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra also failed to clear their first hurdle.

What’s next?

That, therefore, somewhat justifies the lines in the paper, but it seemingly didn’t go down well with Gutta, who has been one of the flag-bearers of Indian doubles badminton in the recent past. Taking exception to the newspaper report’s undermining a field which she has worked hard to bring recognition to is no surprise.

Author’s take

Gutta is the country’s most successful doubles specialist. She has won four Commonwealth Games medals and also won the bronze with Ashwini Ponappa in the 2014 Badminton Asia Championships. Therefore, she has every right to get incensed about callous reporting of the sport, and the doubles teams in particular.

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India has been doing well in badminton over the past few years, resulting in the nation bagging medals in the last two Olympic games. With the sport on the rise in a country captivated by cricket, such irresponsible reporting will only lead to a decrease in interest in badminton.

Published 27 Apr 2017, 13:45 IST
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