Jwala has no plans of partnering Ashwini

Noida, April 23 (IANS) Ace Indian shuttler Jwala Gutta Tuesday said she has no plans of going back to her old-time doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa for now and will stick with Mumbai’s Prajakta Sawant.

Jwala and Ashwini last played together at the London Olympics after which the former took a sabbatical from the sport while Ashwini went on to partner Pradnya Gadre.

“Currently I have no plans of changing any partner. For now, it is Prajakta. I will see how things will turn out in the future and will act accordingly,” Jwala told IANS at a badminton clinic organised for students of Genesis Global School here.

Jwala and Ashwini together won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010 and then went on to clinch the 2011 World Championship bronze in London.

Questioned about the India Open preparations and whether she is happy with the draw, the 29-year-old Jwala said: “The preparations have been good. I don’t believe in getting a good or a bad draw. Whatever draw I get, I have to go out and play whether it is against a World Champion or a rookie. It is a different kind of a challenge and we have to take it.”

Asked further about the tussle between Prajakta and national coach Pullela Gopichand, the Hyderabadi defended the shuttler saying what has happened is really bad.

Prajakta, Monday, was seen sitting aloof from the Indian badminton contingent at the opening ceremony of the India Open.

“What is happening with her is really bad. If she has had a tiff with someone then why are the other players scared to talk to her? She is a good player and if she wasn’t she would have never been in the Indian team; but she was and suddenly she was taken out of the team. And the reasons were not good enough,” said Jwala defending Prajakta.

Prajakta late last year had alleged that Gopichand had mentally harassed her by refusing her entry into the national coaching camp held at his academy in Hyderabad. She also alleged that he promoted players from the private academy.

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