Prajakta gets new partner
City shuttler Prajakta Sawant is clearly not one to pull her punches. In the news recently for her legal wrangling with chief national coach P Gopichand, Sawant has now decided to partner with Malaysia's Mohd Razif Abdul Latif in mixed doubles for the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold, Indonesia Open Super Series and Singapore Super Series later this year.
Explaining her decision, Sawant told MiD DAY: “I have been through hell during the court case that I had with P Gopichand. When the court case was on nobody was ready to play with me.
Only Jwala Gutta (her women’s doubles partner) came forward to support me. With the matter solved, even V Diju wants to play with me now. But I have lost faith in BAI. All Indian players (male and female) are influenced by Gopichand. So I decided not to play with them.”
Though the matter seems to have been resolved, she said that the bias in national selection still continues and predicts a rough road ahead for her.
“The court gave orders that if I’m selected I wouldn’t be treated differently.
But players from Gopichand’s academy— Sourabh Varma, Pradnya Gadre, Tarun Kona and others — are still given preference when the team is chosen. But I will fight till the end and not give up hope,” she said.
Meanwhile, the 20-year-old added that she might actually think of getting a Malaysian citizenship after four years. However, for now she just hopes to gel well with Jwala and Latif.
“I cannot think of taking up a Malaysian citizenship till Jwala is playing with me. But after she retires from the sport I will think about it. For now I want to get used to my new partners and go ahead,” she signed off.