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Historic gold for Jwala-Diju

Jwala Gutta was a bundle of nerves on Sunday morning, as she did not want to be second time unlucky. She and her partner, V Diju, had come close to bagging a Grand Prix gold title in April but faltered at the final hurdle. That loss taught them the virtue of patience, reports Abhijeet Kulkarni.

other Updated: Aug 31, 2009 01:28 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Jwala Gutta was a bundle of nerves on Sunday morning, as she did not want to be second time unlucky. She and her partner, V Diju, had come close to bagging a Grand Prix gold title in April but faltered at the final hurdle. That loss taught them the virtue of patience.

Their willingness to wait for the right opportunity before going for the kill helped create history in Chinese Taipei. The world No 7 pair beat Indonesia's Hendra Gunawan and Vita Marrisa 23-21, 21-18 in the final to become the first Indian doubles combination to win a tournament of this stature. Saina Nehwal had won the women's singles title of the same tournament last year.

Jwala-Diju began with a bang, racing to a 15-7 lead, but the Indonesians clawed back and made the Indians save a game point before losing the opening game. Marrisa and Gunawan took the early lead in the second but then ran out of steam after some long rallies.

"Unlike the India Open, we were very patient today and that made the difference," Jwala said. "Having lost out once, I was determined not to let a chance go again. I was nervous in the morning, but once we started playing I was very focussed."

An elated Diju said his decision to pull out of last week's Macau Open turned out to be a blessing in disguise as he could give ample rest to his troublesome back. The World Championship quarter finalist had to save a match point in this semi final and felt that playing continuously at the top level has now given them enough confidence to pull off such close matches. The pair will come back to India on Monday night and will play in the Japan Super Series next.