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No mixed doubles without Jwala, says Diju

1.43K   //    01 Sep 2012, 18:25 IST

New Delhi - Badminton doubles specialist Valiyaveetil Diju expressed surprise over reports that his mixed event partner Jwala Gutta is taking a sabbatical from the game, and said if it is true then he would like to focus on the men’s doubles for the time being.

“I do not know that Jwala is taking a sabbatical, it is news to me. She has not talked to me. I will take a call on my future only after talking to her and in the meantime I will focus on the men’s doubles,” Diju told IANS on Saturday.

Diju, who struck a successful partnership with Jwala, said he will partner statemate Alwin Francis in the men’s doubles and added that he had no idea about Jwala taking a sabbatical from the circuit.

Diju-Jwala pair, which is currently ranked 14th in the world, became the first Indian duo to enter the quarterfinals of the World Championships in August 2009 in Hyderabad.

Earlier, Jwala had told IANS that her break is indefinite, though she hopes to be back on court as early as in six months’ time.

Diju, who is getting married Sep 16 to a doctor, said if Jwala is indeed contemplating taking time off badminton then he, too, might take a break from the mixed doubles.

The Kerala shuttler, 31, is not looking far ahead and does not want to think of the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“The next Olympics are four years away and it is too early to say anything. I have not decided anything yet,” added Diju.