Let us start with Badminton first.
For the first time FIVE players have qualified for Olympics from India. And they are:
Saina Nehwal (Women’s Singles) – Has won 21 out of 32 International Events she has particpated in (See table below)
Parupalli Kashyap (Men’s Singles) – Commonwealth Bronze Medallist
Jwala Gutta (Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles) – 13 times Indian National Champion; Gold in Women’s Doubles in Commonwealth 2010; Bronze in World Championship 2011. First player from India to represent in two events.
Ashwini Ponnappa (Women’s Doubles) – Gold in Commonwealth Games 2010 with Jwala Gutta
V. Diju (Mixed Doubles) – Partnered with Jwala Gutta in Chinese Taipei Grand Prix 2009 – first Indian badminton mixed doubles pair to win a Grand Prix Gold title; With Jwala Gutta reached the World Super Series Masters final
While Saina Nehwal is hands down, the top medal hope for India in Badminton, Jwala Gutta is the first Indian to have won a birth in two Olympic events in Badminton.
Jwala, interestingly has an Indian father (Kranti Gutta from Hyderabad, from family of Freedom Fighters and Leftists) and a Chinese Mother (Yelan Gutta, daughter of Chinese Gandhian named Tseng).
Maybe both her lineages are bearing fruit in badminton. She is not only is a dual medal hope but also the greatest glamour draw from the Indian contingent. She might very easily be listed in the most glamorous looking contestant in London’s 2012 Olympics amongst women.
All the Indian players are putting their best and training strongly for the Olympics. While Saina Nehwal, P. Kashyap and V. Diju are training at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy; Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa are training both, at the Gopichand Academy (under Indonesian coach Edwin Iriawan) and at the LB Indoor stadium (under former National Chief Coach Syed Mohammed Arif).
One hopes that such hard work will eventually be rewarded this time.
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