Indian Women’s doubles gold medallist Ashwini Ponnappa and country’s top level double specialist Jwala Gutta are listed in the TOP scheme by the sports ministry along with them the men’s doubles pair of Sumeet Reddy and Manu Atri are also added into this TOP Scheme. Ministry offered them to get prepared for training consultation with the Chief Coach of Doubles and list out their requirements.
Sports Ministry added, “These players are entitled to receive funding from NSDF for training and competition in preparation for Rio Olympics 2016.”
After Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, P Kashyap, K Srikanth, Guru Saidutt and H S Prannoy, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are included into this Target Olympic Podium Scheme. This decision was taken by the government in the August month to add their names in the list of next athletes.
Ashwini has the best partnership with Jwala Gutta, this couple bagged many medals in the international events even they clinched gold medal at the Common Wealth games, it was Jwala Gutta’s first debut in marking gold medal in India. This pair is ranking in the top 20 list of BWF World Ranking. There is a record in the books that, Becoming the first Indian pair to ensure a medal at the World Badminton Championships.
Jwala stated, “I am happy that we have been included now. It will motivate us further and help us better plan our preparation for Olympics, it’s unfortunate that we had to fight it out. Nobody 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.”In the year 2012 this pair lost their opening match against Japan in the London Olympics. However, Jwala brought numerous medals to the India including a bronze medal, Gold medal and Silver medals in Common Wealth Games during the years 2010 and 2014 respectively.