Jwala Gutta, India’s badminton icon and one of the most inspiring sportspersons of the country, has often made headlines for her outspoken nature. However, Jwala recently revealed that being straightforward had her facing difficulty in career, and the sole person she holds accountable for the damage is none other than the national chief badminton coach and Jwala’s former doubles partner Pullela Gopichand!
Jwala and Gopichand formed the team that National Badminton Championship title in mixed doubles back in 2004. However, as time passed, and the two shuttling icons of the country became distant.
The former world no. 6 recently opened up about her relation with Gopichand, and accused Gopichand for partiality in badminton coaching system and also numerous career scopes Jwala missed in her career.
Speaking to India Today, Jwala revealed aggravation she faced in the past because of Gopichand, and how her straight from the shoulder attitude had bitten her back.
“I hold him (Gopichand) responsible for the harassment I had to go through all these years. I am vocal and I have had to pay a huge price for that,” the 36 year old shuttler said in the interview.
“I acknowledge what he (Gopi) has achieved and I had expectations from him. Gopi knows my potential and what I was capable of,” the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist continued, “He was part of the establishment and he knew my potential, so it was quite natural for me to have expectations from him.”
Jwala further blamed Gopichand for favouritism and making the sport of badminton in the country centralised: “If you notice, there were players from other states when Gopi used to play. So there was a time where top players used to come from different parts of the country.”
Jwala further stated that Gopichand, being from Andhra Pradesh, favours shuttlers from his state, and is the reason why the Indian badminton scene has a domination of Telugu players or players from Hyderabad.
“If India wins a medal, it is because of Gopichand and if we don’t do well, then it is the system that is to be blamed,” she further added.
In addition to that, Jwala also revealed facing racism and xenophobia, for having a Chinese mother. She recently took to social media to reveal how she was targeted as the ‘Boycott Chinese Product’ movement gained pace among the netizens of the country.
“People have a lot of time to waste on such things, calling someone ‘Chinese’. It was important to call out people like these. So it is my duty to teach these people a lesson and tell them that the power of anonymity has its consequences too,” Jwala said.