Ashwini Ponnappa targets medal at World Championships

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Ashwini Ponnappa is the women's doubles ace of India.

Mumbai: Buoyed by her victory with Jwala Gutta at the Canada Open, Ashwini Ponnappa is hopeful of another successful performance at the BWF World Championships, scheduled to begin in Jakarta on Monday. “Ideally, our target is to win a medal,” she said here on Tuesday after being felicitated by the Karnataka Badminton Association for that triumph in Calgary. “The Canada win and our performance in the US Open (semifinal defeat) will give us a huge boost.”Ashwini Ponnappa is the women's doubles ace of India.

Ashwini and Jwala, seeded 13 at the World Championships, have a bye into the second round, where they will face either Canada’s Alex Bruce and Phyllis Chan or Chinese Taipei’s Hsieh Pei Chen and Wu Ti Jung. “The second round will be tricky,” the 25-year-old said. “We’ve always had tough matches against Chinese Taipei.”

The pair, currently ranked 12 in the world, will also have an eye on qualifying for the Rio Olympics, the window for which opened in May this year and will shut in May 2016. “Ideally, Jwala and I are targeting a place in the top 10 by the end of the Olympic period,” Ashwini said. “It would be the ideal position to be in. It’s very important for us to play as many tournaments as possible and that’s we’re going to do.”

Ashwini, who was awarded a sum of Rs.50,000 by the KBA, welcomed the appointment of a specialist doubles coach in the Malaysian Tan Kim Her. “We have been able to manage so far only due to the fact that Jwala and I are pretty good at doubles and we have a really good understanding,” she said.

“Now with the doubles coach coming, it will be a huge boost because he will get the two of us to train together. Ideally we’re looking at a centre which avoids all academies. There are a lot of places where they can have camps. It would be really helpful if it wasn’t in any academy and they had a separate doubles camp just for doubles players.”

The KBA also presented a sum of Rs.25,000 each to D. Guruprasad, S. Venkatesh Prasad, K. Jagadish Yadav and S. Sanjeeth for their participation in the All-England badminton championships earlier this year.

— PTI

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