Veteran badminton ace laments lack of recognition for doubles shuttlers in the country
Glasgow: Just hours after winning a silver in the Commonwealth Games, ace shuttler Jwala Gutta has slammed discrimination of doubles game in India, saying that singles players were given more recognition in the country.
Jwala Gutta. Pic/AFP
Gutta and her partner Ashwini had failed to defend the gold they had won in 2010 Delhi Games after losing 17-21, 21-23 to Malaysian pair of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon at the Emirates Arena.
Jwala said given the lack of funding and support for the doubles format in India, it was difficult to inspire youngsters to take up doubles in badminton. "A lot was depending on us and we delivered things that Indians had never dreamt of. We ask for nothing but a little acknowledgement.
We don't get paid for this and the government funds everything. We want to inspire our juniors to play doubles but there is no acknowledgement. We want to do well and play the sport we love, we don't do it for money as prize money is so bad in badminton," she said.
"If a singles player gets 10 dollars and a doubles player gets two dollars, that in itself would be great, but in India we get nothing. We had won a very important match for India and we came back to an empty airport. The singles player, who hadn't come as close as we did, was greeted with so much cheering at the airport," said the 30-year-old, who won a bronze medal at the 2011 world championships.
In 2012, Jwala and Ponnappa were the first doubles pair from India to qualify for an Olympic Games, but they were eliminated at the group stage. Asked if she would play in mixed doubles in future, Jwala said, "I don't want to play mixed doubles. Especially, because I don't have a good partner. There's a problem in India with mixed doubles," she said.