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Jwala Gutta visits Jaipur for setting up badminton academy

Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Jwala Gutta visited Jaipur on Tuesday to explore the possibilities of opening a badminton academy in Jaipur

jaipur Updated: Aug 07, 2018 22:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Rajasthan News
Jwala Gutta looked impressed with the facilities in Jaipur.(File/PTI)

Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Jwala Gutta visited Jaipur on Tuesday to explore the possibilities of opening a badminton academy in Jaipur.

Her visit comes following the visits of ace shuttlers Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand, who have also visited Rajasthan recently with the same idea.

“Yes, I wish to open an academy in Jaipur and that’s why I have come to meet sports minister Gajendra Singh Khimsar and additional chief secretary JC Mohanti,” said Gutta after meeting both of them. Rajasthan Royals’ Rajiv Khanna and Rajasthan State Sports Council (RSSC) PRO Tejraj Singh were also with her.

Gutta looked impressed with the facilities in Jaipur. “I visited the facilities at Sawai Man Singh Stadium and Jagatpura Shooting Range, which are very good,” she said. She, however, added, “Facilities are good, but there is a need for good coaching and guidance to hone the available talent.”

While being at the badminton hall of SMS stadium, she became nostalgic. “I have won the national championship in Jaipur in 2001 pairing with Shruti Kurian,” Gutta recalled, adding that, “there is no change in the hall.”

She seemed piqued with government’s alleged bias towards Gopichand Academy of Hyderabad. Replying to a question, she said that most of the top shuttlers of the country belong to Gopichand Academy and only Hyderabadi and Telgu players have been playing all over. “Reason behind that is that electricity, shuttles and everything have been provided by the government and not a singles penny was spent over the academy by Gopi,” she said.

She said if she would open the academy in Jaipur her focus would be not just on fitness, but to produce professional players. “With government’s support, champions will be produced in state,” she said.

Replying to another question, she expressed hope that India will win a couple of medals in badminton at the Jakarta Asian Games, but she did not singled out any player.

RSSC chairman JC Mohanti, who was also present on the occasion, said, “We have world-class facilities here (in Jaipur), but need world-class coaches.”

Mohanti, who is also the additional chief secretary of the state government, said the government is ready to provide funds for the development of any discipline. He said the government has started a talent search scheme and the selected players will be provided with scholarships.

First Published: Aug 07, 2018 22:08 IST