'Asian bronze could be a catalyst for future success'

'Asian bronze could be a catalyst for future success'

Ashwini looks forward to busy season

'Asian bronze could be a catalyst for future success'

 Fresh from winning a women’s doubles bronze medal in the recently-concluded Asian Badminton Championship, Ashwini Ponnappa felt that the success could act as a catalyst for her ahead of a very busy season.

Ashwini, who reunited with former partner Jwala Gutta at the start of the year, was in fine form in the Asian Championships at Gimcheon, South Korea, combining well with the Hyderabadi. The duo, winners of the gold at the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the 2011 World Championships in London, scored some fine wins in Korea before falling to Luo Yu and Luo Ying in the semifinals.

“Most definitely,” replied Ashwini when asked if the win would provide a huge boost to their confidence. 

“We needed this a lot. You can’t completely ignore what people say, however much you try. When they say you have just started and you haven’t done well, it kind of hurts. But, at the same time, when we played this tournament, we just focused on our game. We wanted to get our act right, make sure things fell into place. Thankfully, it all fell in place beautifully and it feels good,” added Ashwini on the sidelines of a clinic she conducted for young kids along with Anup Sridhar at the Tom’s Junior Academy which was officially launched on Tuesday.

Ashwini felt the constant criticisms hurled at the pair does frustrate them sometimes. 

‘No vendetta’ 

“Sometimes it is very frustrating. We don’t have any vendetta against anyone, we just want to play well. It is not easy to be a doubles player in India unlike singles. In singles, you have a lot of people to look up to, a lot of support, a lot of everything actually.

“In doubles, they expect results just like that. That will not happen. There needs to be a push, we need help. We need to be sent for more tournaments. Even if it is smaller tournaments, it is okay. We need to play more international tournaments to stay at that level. Just training in India for months on the end will not help,” added the 24-year-old.

Ashwini also opined that she would be giving equal importance to mixed doubles along with Tarun Kona. “I want to try balancing both because playing mixed doubles over the last one year has definitely helped develop my overall game. Thanks to mixed doubles, I’m more comfortable at the net. Earlier, I used to be very hesitant and panicky at the net but thanks to mixed doubles, I much more confident at the net.”

After this month’s Thomas and Uber Cup in New Delhi, Ashwini and Jwala would be defending their title at the July 23-August 3 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and eyeing glory at the Sept 19-Oct 4 Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.