Jwala-Ashwini in top 20; Saina also rises



Jwala-Ashwini in top 20; Saina also rises New Delhi: World Championship bronze medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa on Thursday broke into the top 20, while Saina Nehwal jumped a place to fifth in the latest world rankings released on Thursday.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jwala and Ashwini, who created history by becoming the first Indian women's pair to win a bronze in World Championship last week, jumped four places to 17th.

"We are happy to break into the top 20. Reaching the semifinals of the World Championship was a good feeling, especially because nobody has done that in India but we would love to reach the finals. We have broken some barriers but we would love to win a gold," said Ashwini.

Ashwini knows that expectations would be high from now on as they prepare for the London Olympics next year and the Bangalore girl said they would look to perform well in the future tournaments and break into the top 10.

"I know expectations would be high but we performed when people didn't expect us to. So it is ok, our aim is to perform well in the coming tournaments and that will take care of the ranking automatically," said Ashwini.

"We are next playing in China and Japan and that's our target to do well there, we have some big targets and some smaller targets and we are working towards that," she added. Ashwini and Jwala claimed a bronze medal for India in the prestigious event after a gap of 28 years.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallists gave a tough fight to fifth-seeded Chinese duo of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei in the semi-final before losing 14-21 16-21 in 38 minutes.

The 21-year-old Saina, who reached the quarterfinals of the prestigious mega event before crashing out, moved to the number five from the sixth position.

PTI