Ashwini Ponnappa Machimanda is a south Indian badminton player. She plies her trade in the international badminton circuit in the women’s as well as mixed doubles disciplines. She is especially remembered for her successful partnership with Jwala Gutta. The pair has won many medals together at various international events that include the Commonwealth Games where they won a gold medal. The pair has also clinched numerous bronze medals at the Uber Cup and the Asian Badminton Championships. During their prime years, they were regularly ranked among the top 20 in the BWF World Ranking with a high of No.10. They created history in 2011 when they became the first Indian pair and women to win a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships.
|Full Name||Ashwini Ponnappa|
|Age||29 years (as of 2018)|
|Career Record||144 wins | 155 defeats|
|Highest Rank||27 (Mixed Doubles)|
|Major Teams Played For||India, Bengaluru Raptors, Awadhe Warriors|
She attended the St. Francis Xavier’s Girls High School in Bangalore before moving to Hyderabad for her Bachelor’s degree. She would actively play hockey at the university level. Ponnappa’s first success came in 2001 when she won her first national medal in the sub-junior girls’ doubles category. In addition to that, she also won the national title in sub-junior girls’ doubles in 2005, and the Junior girls’ doubles National cup in 2006 and 2007.
Her first international title came in the South Asian Games, where she won the gold medal in mixed doubles and the team events in 2010. Later, in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she scripted history, winning the gold medal in Women’s doubles event. With Jwala Gutta, she became the first woman to win the yellow metal in the event. The top podium spot was thus elemental to her becoming a popular name in the country.
In 2011, the famous pair again rewrote history by becoming the first pair to win a medal at the World Badminton Championships. In what is considered as one of their best performances, the Gutta-Ponnappa pair defeated Indonesia’s Vita Marissa and Nadya Melati by 17-21, 21-10 and 21-17, before going down to China in the semifinals to eventually win a bronze.
2012 London Olympics
At the 2012 London Olympics, Ponnappa and Gutta were defeated in the opening women’s doubles match by Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa of Japan. Although they beat Chinese Taipei’s much higher ranked Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien they eventually failed to qualify for the quarterfinals by a difference of just one point. The controversy erupted, after the Japanese team losing out to Chinese Taipei, with IOC filing a formal complaint to investigate if the match was fair. There was no response from the organizers.
2014 Commonwealth Games
Ponnappa and Gutta continued their form in 2014, as the pair won a silver medal in the women’s doubles of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. They lost to the Singaporean pair in the final.
The pair won the Canada Open women’s doubles title in 2015. They trumped the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek.
Her last important medal came in 2018 when she won the gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the mixed team event. In addition to that, she also won bronze with N. Sikki Reddy in the women’s doubles.
Ashwini was bought by the Sahara Adventure Sports Limited (a group company of Sahara India) owned Premier Badminton League Side Awadhe Warriors for Rs.32 lakhs. In the preceding seasons, she was sold to Delhi Acers for Rs. 20 lakhs (2017), Bengaluru Raptors for Rs. 15 lakhs (2016).
According to the official website of BWF, she had a total earning of $46,054 from doubles event and $15,888 from mixed events.
Ashwini Ponnappa was born to CA Ponnappa and Cauvery Ponnappa on 18 December 1989 in the Karnataka capital of Bengaluru. Mr. Ponnappa was a hockey player. Ashwini Ponnappa, on the other hand, decided to choose badminton over hockey.
In December 2017, Ponnappa married businessman-model Karan Medappa in a private wedding ceremony in Coorg, Karnataka. The wedding ceremony proceeded according to traditional Kodava style. Among the guests were some of the biggest names in the world of badminton, including Rohan Bopanna, Jyotsna Chinappa, longtime women’s doubles partner, Jwala Gutta among others.
Gold at 2010 Commonwealth Games (Women’s double)
Bronze at BWF World Championships 2011 ( Women’s double )
Silver at 2014 Commonwealth Games (Women’s double)
Bronze at the 2014 Asia Championships (Women’s double)
Gold at the 2015 BWF Grand Prix Canada Open (Women’s double)
Gold at the 2016 South Asian Games (Women’s double)
Bronze at 2018 Commonwealth Games (Women’s double)
According to BWF badminton’s official website, following is Ashwini Ponnappa’s records over her career in BWF events.