Ashwini Ponnappa Machimanda is an Indian female badminton player who was born on 18 September 1989 at Coorg in Karnataka. She is a right-handed shuttler who loves the powerful smash shots on the court and is very good at it. She is the first Indian player to have won a medal in the Doubles category of World Badminton Championship.
Ashwini Ponnappa discovered her badminton talent when her mother introduced her to the sport at a young age. She started her professional training in the sport soon while continuing her studies side by side.
She has always been a doubles player and her first victory at the national level came at the 2004 National Championship in Sub-Junior Girls Doubles category. An year later, at the 2005 National Championship, she retained her title.
Rise to Glory
After making an impact on the national audience, she had some taste of victory at the 2006 South Asian Games where she clinched the Gold Medal in Badminton Women's Doubles event. However, she became a household name only after she teamed up with Jwala Gutta, alongside whom she won the Gold Medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She also won a silver medal at the 2010 CWG in the Mixed Team category.
At the 2011 World Badminton Championship, she won the Bronze medal and was applauded for her performance in the tournament. However, she couldn't win a medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
She bounced back again in 2014 and helped the Women's Team to win the Bronze medal at the Uber Cup in New Delhi. Her medal run continued that year and she went on to win the Bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Women's Team category. She also won a Bronze medal at the Gimcheon Asian Championship in Doubles category.
She failed to retain her Commonwealth Games Gold medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games where she lost in the finals and had to sit back with a silver medal. In 2015, she went on to win the Gold Medal at the Yonex Canada Open in Women's Doubles category.
Ashwini Ponnappa won two Gold medals at the 2016 South Asian Games and one Silver Medal in the Mixed Doubles category.
Ashwini Ponnappa suffered a major setback when she along with Jwala Gutta were controversially eliminated at the 2012 London Olympics. It took them almost two years to get over with it and they won their next medal in 2014. Ashwini has also faced criticism for not winning a medal at the “Big Events” such as Olympics.
Ashwini Ponnappa was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2012 by the Government of India.