mobile app bar

Jwala Gutta slams the unfair treatment of doubles players in India

Utkarsh Bhatla

Ever since she stepped onto the court in the international arena, Jwala Gutta has been fighting for an equal stance for women in the sport of Badminton. With the likes of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu taking on the mantle in the singles event, Jwala has always held her own in the doubles category, helping India take giant strides in women’s doubles at the international level.

In a recent interview Jwala told reporters that she would love to join the Badminton Association of India, and work for all the overall development of the sport in the country.

“I think I have enough experience and I have won number of titles and medals for my country to be the best person to help the doubles shuttlers. I want to join the association in the administration, may be as an advisor to address the plaguing issues of Indian doubles”

Having played for a long time in the doubles circuit, Gutta feels that she understands the grievances faced by ‘doubles specialists’, as they do not get the required attention and resources.

“We have always been critical of doubles performance(s). The consistent support that singles player are getting is way more than doubles, it is 100:1. We hardly get any support, the only support we get is from the government but it is not enough if we have to perform consistently at the highest level”

“Yes, the singles players are doing well and they are also being supported more. You have to analyse why doubles is not doing well. Doubles have zero support as of now even now in terms of sponsorship, medical support, nutrition.

“We have always been given step-motherly treatment and nothing has changed in all these years. We are here only because we want to be here and there is no support. Probably this is the last phase of my career but then we still don’t have the doubles culture. We don’t want to understand what sort of support or lack of it is there in India. It takes guts to take up doubles in India.

She also spoke about how doubles was overlooked for the Rio Olympics!

“I have stopped playing mixed doubles after London, why we didn’t have any pair this time, where are the players. We are only remembered in the team championship and then forgotten. The doubles coach Tan Kim Her came just nine months before the Olympics, do you think he can change everything in nine months.

“I was the one who spoke about the need to have a doubles coach after London… It takes time, I don’t think our new coach has still adjusted to the system,”

When asked about the PBL and the 11 point scoring system, Gutta said that though the format was appealing for the masses, it doesn’t really help the players improve their game, as “technique goes for a toss” in the shorter format.

“We have to find a balance between the 21 and 11 point system if they have to try it in the international circuit.”

About the author

Share this article