I am delighted: Jwala Gutta
New Delhi: Jwala Gutta will become the first Indian to qualify for two events - mixed and women`s doubles - in the Olympics when the world rankings are out next week and the doubles specialist said she was delighted and hoped to bring laurels to the country at the London Games.
In the 1992 Barcelona Games, Vimal Kumar and Dipankar Bhattacharjee had played in the singles and men`s doubles category though they had qualified only in singles and hence were given an entry in doubles event as well.
But it would be for the first time that any of the Indian doubles pairing will get a direct entry in the history of Olympics when the world ranking will be freezed on May 3.
"We are finally through. We got our job done. I would be happy to know it the next week officially. But I am delighted. It is a special feeling and we hope to play good badminton in Olympics," she said.
"We had lost in the first round last year and here we reached the quarterfinals, which will fetch us 3000 points and we will go ahead of the Malaysian pair who are above us now. It doesn`t matter now if the Korean pair reaches the top eight," Jwala said explaining the myriad of calculations regarding their Olympic qualification.
Jwala`s women`s doubles partner, Ashwini Ponnappa said, "The feeling has yet not sink in and when we come to know about it officially, it will sink in."
Asked about her chances of winning a medal in Olympics, Jwala exuded confidence and said it is not impossible.
"Olympic is special and precious for any athlete. When we could win the bronze in the World championship, I think it is not an impossible task to win a medal in Olympics. On a given day, if we are strong on the mind, probably we can win a medal in one of the events.
"Me and Diju had reached the semifinals in China Open last year, we had beaten the world number two then and it is possible to win a medal in both category," she said.
Asked what would be the roadmap now that they have qualified for the Olympics, Jwala said, "We will be working on our consistency. Of course, I will have two events and the competition is very tough and I will work on my fitness in the next two months."
She said for Indian badminton to do well, the whole team needs to be stronger.
"I want the whole team to be more stronger, there should not be a second string, we need to have four good singles in both men and women and three doubles pair in three categories, then we will see badminton prosper."