New Delhi: Jwala Gutta has been one of the best doubles players in badminton in the country. She may not be in the league of Saina Nehwal or PV Sindhu but in her own right, has been a bit of a trailblazer. This is especially true when you consider the fact that she came before Nehwal or Sindhu. But it is fair to say that Gutta is generally more in news for her outspoken comments than her medals won.
This may not be because of lack of achievement considering her list of medals as a doubles champion but because outspokenness is rare in Indian sport.
This time in an interview to Indian Express, Gutta took on acclaimed player and coach Pullela Gopichand, slamming him as she said, “Time and again, I was thrown out of the national camp which was unnecessary. First of all, we don’t have any doubles pair, I’m the national champ since 2000-01, and you are troubling me. I was never given any explanation. I kept proving myself by winning tournaments, winning matches. Doubles is completely different. It needs different attention. Singles is doing better because they are getting all the support in the world.”
She further added, “For the past 1-2 months, I’m hearing about how doubles is coming up because they’ve won International Challenges, I’ve set such a high benchmark, so what are you trying to say; basically dushmani sirf mere se thi? (enmity was just with me?) I just needed encouragement, I never asked for money or awards. I’m your No 1 player, you can’t trouble me.”
She also said, “Irritating nahi, I wouldn’t say irritating. He just let me down. When he won All England, I don’t think anyone else was as happy as me or Arif Sir. We were playmates, we used to practice and train together. We looked up to him. When he came back from winning All England I went to the airport. I was amongst that crowd, and we were crying because we were the happiest.”
There was more as she said, “We thought now he will encourage us, now he will give us what he probably did not have. You know how emotional the crowds are when we go to receive sportspeople. I was there standing in crowd with everybody.”