‘Can’t think of one current doubles player I want to pair up with’ - Jwala Gutta

Updated on Dec 11, 2019 12:05 AM IST

Jwala further stressed on the importance of developing Indian coaches in the country, something she is hoping she could do in her academy.

Jwala Gutta during a training session at LG Stadium, in Hyderabad, India.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
Jwala Gutta during a training session at LG Stadium, in Hyderabad, India.(Sanjeev Verma/ Hindustan Times)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | ByKaran Prashant Saxena

Indian badminton player Jwala Gutta on Tuesday said that she is concerned about the lack of attention given to doubles player in the country. The shuttler, who was in New Delhi to unveil the logo of her upcoming Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence in Hyderabad, said that no one is taking badminton doubles category seriously in India.

“I can’t think of one doubles player who I want to play with today. I am in the selection panel, I see the list, I have seen them play,” she said while speaking to reporters at the event. “We need a complete revamp and a different ecosystem for the doubles in the country.”

The 36-year-old further said that she would want to head the doubles category. “I would like to see myself heading the doubles. Doubles does not need a coach - it needs a correction in the administration. The whole system is wrong.”

Pointing out the flaws in the system, Jwala said that its importance is not being highlighted. “People are not educated on how important a doubles category is. It is the duty of the association and for players like me. But the current double players are not speaking. I feel sad for them,” she said.

“Their achievements needs to be highlighted. When a player wins in the singles, it gets a full page in the newspaper, while the doubles win is a small piece somewhere in the corner. Nobody speaks up for doubles. That has to change,” she further added.

The shuttler further complained that no single star has arrived on the scene in the doubles since she left the sport two years ago.

“Today we are not even sure if any player will qualify for the doubles’ for Tokyo Olympics, at least among the women’s. When I stopped playing, I was criticised. I thought maybe they can do better without me, I have not been there for the past two years, what have you done? Nothing,” she said.

“I have all the credentials to head the doubles today, but certain people don’t want me,” she further added.

Jwala further stressed on the importance of developing Indian coaches in the country, something she is hoping she could do in her academy.

“Our badminton contingent has had a number of foreign coaches over the years. The reason why they leave maybe personal for them. Maybe they want to go back home, or maybe they don’t have the job satisfaction. I feel it’s high time we create a program which will make our Indian coaches as capable, which we are not doing at all,” she said.

The former World No. 6 added that no one in the country really value coaches, and the focus is on the players. “In our country, we don’t really value our coaches or teachers. Even Arif Sir (S.M. Arif) has done so much for the country, but has not received the recognition he deserved. The coaches get such low salaries. The government needs to step up to develop a system to make better coaches and then we will get better players,” she said.

“If we really want to beat China, then we should follow their system. The coaches are respected so much. Players are not playing politics with the coaches there. Here players gets everything,” she signed off.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Karan Prashant Saxena is a reporter/writer/editor, who specialises in sports. His primary areas of interest include football, Olympics sports, and pro-wrestling. When not working, Karan spends his time reading, travelling, and pondering on the question - What If?

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