Mumbai: India’s top women’s doubles pair in badminton, seasoned campaigners Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, are aiming to crack the top 10 in world rankings before the year comes to an end. “We are currently ranked 11th. We had broken into the top ten after the Canadian Open but I fell sick during the Japan and Korea Opens and the rankings have come down a bit. But our aim is to be in the top ten by year-end and also qualify for the Super Series finals (in Dubai),” said the senior of the two players, Jwala, today.
The Indian pair is currently ranked 11th in the Super Series events too and the top eight pairs would qualify for the finals scheduled in Dubai from December 9-13. Jwala and Ashwini, who bagged the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold in Delhi and followed it by clinching the bronze in the 2011 World Championships, have been signed up by Not for Profit organisation, Olympic Gold Quest, today.
The two players will be supported by OGQ, jointly founded by sports legends Prakash Padukone and Geet Sethi, in the run up to next year’s 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, it was announced by OGQ’s CEO, Viren Rasquinha, at a media conference here. “We are very excited to be associated with OGQ and it’s very important we get this kind of support. It’s less than a year to go for Rio and we will work harder and try to achieve better result than earlier (London, 2012). Every professional athlete needs individual attention like in training, nutrition etcetera and OGQ will provide it,” said Jwala.
Agreeing with her partner, Ashwini said “We are looking forward to working harder and doing better than before in all the tournaments prior to and in the Olympic Games. We need a fit body to give 100 per cent. They (OGQ) will give us 100 per cent support if we need anything.” Asked about Rio, Jwala said she and her partner were on target to qualify for the Olympics for which they need to be in the top 16 at the cut-off date – April 30.
Immediately the pair’s aim is to do well in China open, starting on November 10, followed by the Hong Kong (from mNovember 17) and Macau Open (from November 24).