Ashwini Ponnappa: Lack of emphasis on doubles hurts

Nov 01, 2018, 08:30 IST | Subodh Mayure

"I mean, it's sad. You expect results, you want performances, but where is the emphasis on women's doubles," Ponnappa asked on the sidelines of the Red Bull Shuttle Up finals in Kurla yesterday

Ashwini Ponnappa: Lack of emphasis on doubles hurts
Ashwini Ponnappa takes a selfie with doubles partner Sikki Reddy (left) and budding badminton players at a city mall. Pic/Atul Kamble

Doubles specialist Ashwini Ponnappa has lashed out at the way women's badminton doubles is being neglected in India. Ponnappa, currently ranked 20th in the world, called for more tournaments in her category so that young girls are encouraged. "I mean, it's sad. You expect results, you want performances, but where is the emphasis on women's doubles," Ponnappa asked on the sidelines of the Red Bull Shuttle Up finals in Kurla yesterday.

Ponnappa won gold in the mixed team event and a bronze in the women's doubles at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games last April. "Where is the importance for women's doubles? There is no importance. What's the motivation given to them? I love the PBL [Premier Badminton League]. I think it has a great format, but it is sad that they don't have women's doubles.

"We need a lot of women's doubles events — more events and more encouragement. I feel like a lot of badminton events are trying to neglect women's doubles and that needs to change. In India, we need to include women's doubles in order to motivate players to understand that we are going in the right direction," said Ponnappa, a Red Bull athlete.

Sikki Reddy, who is partnering Ponnappa from the last two years, echoed the same feelings. Ponnappa and Reddy are working on strengthening their game and expect good results in upcoming tournaments. "Right now, we have a China Open, Hong Kong Open and Lucknow Open. The competition is getting better with a lot of good pairs; Sikki and I are there as well. We are getting better, we are working on our rotation. Our understanding and coordination are getting better. I am sure a lot of good things will come," said Ponnappa, 29.

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