Jwala wins a double for India in Bulgaria Open

October 12th, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) India’s Jwala Gutta made it a double delight at the Bulgarian Open Grand Prix in Sofia by winning the women’s doubles and mixed doubles title Sunday.Jwala combined with Shruti to beat Indonesian Shendy Puspa Irawati and Meliana Jauhari 21-10, 21-12 for the country’s first women’s doubles crown in a Grand Prix event. Jwala then partnered V. Diju to stave off a stiff challenge from fifth-seeded Irawati and Frand Kurniwan 5-21, 21-18, 21-19 to bag their second successive mixed doubles crown.

The unseeded pair of Jwala and Diju had earlier won the Bitburger Open last week.

Jwala had hogged the headlines for all the wrong reason last year when she defied a Badminton Association India (BAI) diktat to attend national camp. Jwala, Shruti and Chetan Anand wanted to play in international tournaments to keep pace with their ranking but BAI refused to clear their entries following which the trio decided to skip the camps.

An elated Jwala said that she has now answered her critics.

“This is my biggest win ever, winning two titles in one tournament is like a dream. We have beaten higher ranked pairs from Indonesia and other countries. The feeling is still to sink in,” Jwala told IANS.

“This is my way to answer those who stopped us from playing tournaments. We are the top players of the country. We need to be treated with respect. We are playing for the country and we need recognition,” Jwala said training her guns towards BAI.

Jwala and Diju were on a high after winning the mixed doubles title in Commonwealth Games in 2006 until BAI decided to break the pair.

“Diju was told that he cannot play with me because I am not attending camps and our partnership was broken. Diju was asked to pair with other players while I decided not to compete in mixed doubles without him. It was damaging to our career.”

“But then Diju and I felt if we are to win, we need to play together. We hardly practiced before playing the Bitburger Open last week and we won the title. And it was only possible because we are a good pair.”

Jwala also said the presence of her coach S.M. Arif has been a big help to them.

“Earlier, we had lost many close matches and there was nobody to point out the mistakes. Having a coach around makes a lot of difference.”

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