New Delhi: With the Sports Ministry set to include Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa in the TOP scheme, the Hyderabadi shuttler on Friday expressed happiness and said it will motivate them further and help plan their preparation for Rio Olympics.
"I am happy that we are set to be included now. It will motivate us further and help us better plan our preparation for Olympics," Jwala told PTI.
"It's unfortunate that we had to fight it out. No body wants it that way, I always believed that we deserved that place. There are 70 athletes being supported by the ministry and not to find a place in there was shocking, something we could not digest," she added.
After being ignored initially, Sports Ministry has now decided to include Jwala and Ashwini in the TOP scheme with a ministry official saying that their names will be part of the next list of athletes.
Jwala said they were hurt after being ignored but they never depended on the scheme.
"We are by far the best doubles player in the country and they just threw our bio-data out of the window. It hurt us. Not that we were depending on this scheme but we believed it was our right. If we would have depended on it then we would not have come up with performances at US and Canada open," she said.
"We have our personal trainers and physio. Since both me and Ashwini have different bodies so we need specific personal attention and we have been managing on our own all this while. Now this financial support will help us. I am leaving for Bangalore camp next week," said the 31-year-old, who will be playing in the prestigious World Championship next month along with Ashwini.
Jwala, however, rued the lack of a specialised doubles coach for the Indian team.
"It is sad we still don't have a special doubles coach. There is an Indonesian coach in Bangalore which Prakash (Padukone) sir had appointed. He has an idea about doubles but he is not a specialised doubles coach. He won't travel with us for tournaments," she said.
Asked about the Malaysian coach, who was supposed to join the team, Jwala said: "The Malaysian coach, I fear is still uncertain. I heard the hunt for a doubles coach is still on as the Malaysian coach has declined to come. So I don't know. It is sad that they started the hunt only now while time is running out."
The Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah, has also written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to include Jwala and Ashwini in the ambitious Target Olympics Podium (TOP) scheme under the National Sports Development Fund.
Jwala and Ashwini won the 2011 World Championship bronze medal, besides winning the Commonwealth Games gold and silver medal in 2010 and 2014 respectively. They have also won the bronze medal at the Uber Cup and Asia Championship last year.