Ponnappa says she and Gutta were unlucky at Guangzhou

Friday, December 3, 2010

NEW DELHI - India’s Ashwini Ponnappa, who won the women’s doubles gold in badminton with Jwala Gutta at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games, feels they were unlucky to make an early exit from the Guangzhou Asian Games last month.

They were weighed down by the expectations and lost in straight games in the pre-quarters against second-seeded Tian Qin and Zhao Yunlei of China at the Asian Games.

“The competition in China was much tougher compared to the New Delhi Games as players from Korea, China and Japan were there. We were unlucky to run into the Chinese so early in the tournament. It’s not that we could not have beaten them, but it’s just that we did not play well that particular day,” said Ponnappa, 21, who and Gutta became Indias first pair to win a women’s dubles gold in the Commonwealth Games.

Ponnappa, however, denied that a lack of preparation resulted in their early exit.

“We were happy with our Commonwealth Games performance for which we had practiced for four years and wanted to repeat it at Guangzhou. It can’t be the result of lack of preparation, though the two events were back-to-back with a couple of weeks separating them and we have been playing all round the year. I think it just wasn’t our day and we were definitely disappointed,” she said.

The Bangalore girl, however, has her eyes firmly set on London 2012 Olympics.

“We will be working hard to make it to the Olympics and there is hardly anty time left,” she said.

Filed under: Badminton, Olympic Games

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