India’s most successful women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa has decided to part ways for the second time in their career.
The two had earlier split ways in 2013. Jwala went on a vacation following the London Olympics while Ponnappa in the interim committed to playing with Pradnya Gadre. The pair eventually got back at the French Open in October.
This comes as a major setback for Indian women’s doubles as they were a regular feature in some the world’s top badminton events.
The duo has decided to split ways as Jwala is looking to concentrate only on mixed doubles whereas Ashwini is looking for a younger partner.
“Me and Jwala had a great partnership, but it was time for us to look for a new beginning. I haven't made any long term plans, but after the bout of dengue just before the Olympics, I felt it was better for us to start with smaller tournaments,” Ashwini was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying.
On the other hand, Jwala, when asked about the split, said, “I won't be playing anymore with Ashwini. I won't be playing women's doubles either.”
After the split, the two will be seen with new partners. It is believed that Ashwini is said to play alongside N Sikki Reddy, who has partnered PC Thulasi in the past.
Meanwhle, Jwala is reportedly set to feature with partner Manu Attri, who currently plays doubles and mixed doubles.
Jwala and Ashwini first came together in 2009 and went on to become the first Indian pair to win a world championship bronze in 2011. The duo then won a gold in 2010 Commonwealth Games and silver in 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The women’s doubles partners also represented India in the 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics. They, however, failed to clear the group stage in Rio in August and haven’t played since then.