After quiet CWG, Ashwini Ponnappa eyes post-Worlds break

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With She has six medals in her prize pool, including two gold Ashwini Ponnappa One of the most popular Indian athletes at the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

It was at the 2010 edition of New Delhi that Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta burst onto the scene by winning women’s doubles gold – a first for India in CWG – in front of cheering fans at Siri Fort Sports Complex. He propelled India. She got second place in the medal count and became a household name.

Birmingham, 12 years later, however, did not go as planned.

As defending champions India The mixed team final was lost 1-3 to Malaysia. Ponnappa contributed by winning all three group stage matches before reaching the quarter-finals. She was unable to play a part in the semi-final – which India were 3-0 in favor of Singapore – and the final as ties ended before her match.

Additionally, their individual event – mixed doubles with B Sumeeth Reddy – was a failure as the duo lost their opener to England’s Callum Hemming and Jessica Pugh.

“In the mixed team event, of course, we were aiming for gold, but we had to settle for silver. But I’m happy for that. The individual event, quite disappointed with the way we performed. I was looking forward to playing and playing really well, but it wasn’t meant to be this time. It was a bit hard to take,” said the 32-year-old.

In every event, Ponnappa has a full set of CWG women’s doubles medals, having won gold, silver and bronze in 2010, 2014 and 2018 respectively. This time however, she didn’t make the cut for this event with Sikki Reddy at the selection trials.

“Shortly after we lost (in mixed) I wasn’t really upset because I felt like we had given our best that day, but I realized that we lost in the first round and that was tough to take, especially since I did pretty well at the Commonwealth Games in the individual events,” she said. “I’m quite critical of myself. It’s not always good, it can be pretty bad. Luckily my husband was there too. I could ease my mind and relax.

The BWF World Tour hasn’t exactly gone according to Ponnappa’s expectations lately either, losing in the early rounds of several tournaments. This is in stark contrast to his previous success. Jwala Gutta She was young in her career.

After winning the CWG Gold Ponnappa And Gutta in 2010, they made an impact at the World Championships. They won after 28 years of waiting India’s second medal – a bronze medal – in the first tournament. Prakash Padukone He was the only Indian until then, I will participate in the world event. They are the only Indians in the Olympics to have received a medal at the world championships.

The Guided pairing India At their first Uber Cup medal, a bronze, in 2014, also winning a bronze in 2016. In Between, the pair won CWG silver in 2014 and bronze in 2014.

Gutta’s aggressive tap-ins at net and Ponnappa It was a great picture to see the backcourt roar that Indian badminton aficionados have been looking forward to. The situation changed once Gutta’s 2016 retirement from Rio Olympics author As Ponnappa could never replicate the success with N as his partner. Sikki Reddy.

“It’s very difficult because I play doubles and not singles. It’s about changing partners, adapting, making things work. When I started my career, I I was lucky that our styles of play matched, things clicked. There wasn’t a lot of thinking to do,” Ponnappa. “But the second time around, there was a lot of work to do, still to do . It’s very different, quite a contrast.”

Next up is the Tokyo World Championships Begin Monday. She had one of her most memorable moments during this tournament. But it won’t be easy this time around. Ponnappa and Reddy start against Aminath Nabeeha and Fathimath Nabaaha of the Maldives and will next face world champions Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan of China. “We have a tough draw. We met the top seeds in the second round, but we will definitely give our best and hope for a good result,” Ponnappa said.

Having been around the circuit for over 15 years. Ponnappa Looking forward to taking a vacation afterwards. Tokyo. “I feel like I’m at a stage where I’ve been playing for a while. I still feel like I have a lot of badminton (on the left) in me, but I really feel like I have to reset myself,” Ponnappa. “Probably after the world championships I want to take a mini break and get my mind in order because I’ve been playing for a long time.

Asked for more on the break, Ponnappa laughed. “Not right away. I always feel like there are certain things I need to do. Probably after that I can elaborate.

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