I deserve to be the sportsperson of the year: Jwala
New Delhi: India`s star shuttler Jwala Gutta, who won the gold medal along with Ashwini Ponnappa in women`s doubles badminton at the Commonwealth Games, said she deserves to be the sportsperson of the year.
"Suggest my name for the sportsperson of the year," Gutta quipped when asked by media persons who she felt should be the sportsperson of the year.
"I am serious about it. If you see the amount of hardwork that I had to put in to play both the women`s doubles and the mixed doubles and then to win a gold from there I believe I deserve the accolades," said Jwala, who had to play four matches in a day after entering the the mixed doubles and women`s doubles quarterfinals at the Commonwealth Games.
India`s top women shuttler Saina Nehwal, who won as many as five titles this year, and cricket veteran Sachin Tendulkar, who recently scored 50 Test centuries, would be top contenders for the award.
Jwala hailed their respective performances but said this year somebody else should be bestowed with the award.
"Saina is playing well. Sachin has been performing consistently for a long time. But let this time be somebody else," she said on the sidelines of the launch of 75th Senior National Badminton Championship to be played in Rohtak from January third.
Jwala, who took a break after the Asian Games, confirmed her participation in the National championship next month.
"The domestic tournaments are important as they give a lot of exposure to the upcoming players," said Jwala, who won the National Championships 13 times till now.
She, however, emphasised on the need to schedule the tournaments in a proper manner so that players get enough opportunity to participate in all the events.
"Too many events around a particular month deprive players from participating in all of them," Jwala said.
The 27-year-old star said one needs to focus more on international events as they have an impact on the world rankings.
Jwala and V Diju, who were inside the top 10 bracket last year, slipped to 30th in world rankings after a series of unimpressive performance this year.
Asked about the dip, Jwala said, "I am not worried about the rankings, what is important is the performance and I believe we have done well."
"It is just that we missed a number of tournaments in view of preparing for the Commonwealth and Asian Games. If we play rankings will improve automatically," said Jwala, who along with Ashwini are ranked 40th in women`s doubles.
Jwala said her primary focus would be the Super Series events at Korea and Malaysia next year.
Asked about the injury woes to her mixed doubles partner, Diju, Jwala said, "Diju has recovered from the back injury and we are looking ahead to play together at the Super Series."
The Korean event is scheduled to commence from January 15.