Ashwini told Mumbai Mirror, “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.”
One of the best Indian women's doubles pair in recent times, Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa split for the second and probably the final time.
— Shuvro Ghoshal (@shuvro_addict) November 8, 2016
Jwala and Ashwini kickstarted their journey in 2009, and became the first Indian pair to win a world championship bronze (2011), Commonwealth Games gold (2010) and silver (2014), and should be applauded for their performance in representing India in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.
It is now confirmed that the shuttlers will be paired with new partners. Reportedly, Ashwini will start her new partnership with N Sikki Reddy and play the Scottish and Welsh Open later this month. She will also team up with K Nandagopal in mixed doubles. Meanwhile, Jwala has teamed up with Manu Atri to play mixed doubles. Manu Atri along with B Sumeet Reddy became the first men’s doubles pair from India to qualify for the Olympics in Rio.
Sikki currently stands as a national champion in women’s doubles with Pradnya Gadre and has entered into the top-30 in the world in mixed doubles.
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Ashwini was playing with Pradnya for over six months after the London Olympics, while Jwala was on a break. However, during the first edition of the Indian Badminton League, Ashwini-Jwala came back together but were in the midst of a controversy over the way they were treated during the player’s auction.
The duo’s early exit in the Rio Olympics in August was disappointing and they haven’t played since then.
Now we will have to wait and watch to see how the players perform with their new partners. We wish them luck!
Feature Image Credit: Indianexpress.com
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