Shamshing the shuttlecock with the vehemence of a runaway train, Jwala Gutta paints a picture of clockwork precision. The left-handed shuttler is an expectant medallist with mixed-doubles partner V. Diju and the pair ranked No. 6 in the world will have their fair share trials along the way at the CWG.
“The English are always tough competition. Anthony Clarke and Heather Olver and Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork are two mixed-doubles teams who will be tough competition. As always, the Malaysians have incredibly talented pairs but we’re confident,” said 27-year old.
When asked by HT about her understanding with Diju and whether they had it in them to repeat their glorious 2007 Chinese Taipei Grand Prix gold medal win, Gutta was effusive in her praise. “He’s an excellent player and we’ve been together for a long time barring a brief break in 2007. We coordinate our movements effectively while covering the court and will hopefully be able to do as well as we did in Chinese Taipei.” Incidentally, that victory in south-east Asia made them the first Indian mixed-doubles pair to ever win a Grand Prix gold medal.
The Siri Fort practice venue was graced by the Indian contingent today and barring Jwala, Ashwini Ponnappa, Aparna Balan and Saina Nehwal also spent ample time knocking the shuttlecock around. Ponnappa in particular looked in terrific knock much to the delight of a beaming Atik Jauhari, the Indonesian legend currently coaching the youngsters.
Men’s double Paruppali Kashyap, also said he was satisfied with the facilties provided. “It’s excellent. Now I’m just waiting for the Games to begin and I can say confidently, reaching the semis at least shouldn’t be an issue.”