Jwala Gutta Biography: Story of India’s Most Successful Doubles Shuttling Star

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Jwala Gutta is a retired Indian badminton player who specialized in the doubles category. She is considered as one of India’s most successful doubles specialist. Gutta has represented the country at the international circuit from the late 1990s until 2017. Gutta is a fourteen-time National Champion. Although she first played with Shruti Kurien, she found real international success with Ashwini Ponnappa. The pair regularly featured in the top twenty of the BWF World Ranking, reaching no. 10 at the zenith of their career in 2015.

Jwala Gutta
Jwala Gutta (Credit Firstpost)
Full NameJwala
HandednessLeft Handed
HometownHyderabad, Telangana
Height6ft 1 in (1.86m)
Age35 years (as of 2018)
Career Record165 wins | 167 defeats
Retired in2017
Major Teams Played ForIndia,

Biography

Childhood

Gutta was initially was initially inclined towards playing tennis. However, she later shifted to playing badminton at her mother’s insistence. She came in touch with the national badminton coach S. M. Arif through her father when she was four. Arif advised her to first learn gymnastics and swimming for a couple of years before starting to train for badminton. According to him, this was necessary to improve her agility and flexibility. Gutta later went on to train under Arif at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium.

Later Years

Gutta is the first Indian badminton player to qualify for two events at the Olympics–women’s doubles with Ponnappa and mixed doubles with V. Diju at London. She is known for her skilled left-handed stroke-play. Gutta is one of the rare doubles players to utilize a forehand service.

Jwala has won numerous medals for Indian badminton that includes the bronze medal at the 2011 BWF World Championships in London. She won a gold and a silver medal at 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively in the women’s doubles event. Those were the first for India in the discipline. Her other achievements include the historic bronze medal she won at the 2014 Thomas & Uber Cup hosted at New Delhi and a bronze medal at Badminton Asia Championships later that year. She also made final and semi-final appearances in multiple international events like the finals at 2009 BWF Super Series Masters Finals, along with Diju which was the first for the country in any discipline.

Jwala Gutta has been lauded for bringing recognition to doubles badminton in India – Initially with her mixed doubles partner Diju (their peak ranking was no. 6 in 2010, thus becoming the first doubles partnership from the country to be ranked amongst the top-10) and later on with her famous partnership with Ponnappa in women’s doubles.

Gutta has won medals at most of the major international badminton tournaments and multi-sport events. However, one chip on her shoulder is the fact that she does not have an Olympic medal in her collection. She failed to make a mark in the 2012 London Olympics and her pairing with Ashwini Ponnappa failed in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She announced her retirement soon after.

Apart from her badminton career, Gutta has is a vociferous speaker on the issues she advocates for. These range from fair treatment in sports to health and education to women’s empowerment and to gender equality.

As a result, she has been widely considered among one of the most inspiring sportswomen in India. She has been awarded the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award for her extraordinary achievements.

Playing style

Gutta likes playing aggressive badminton and has a great affinity for the frontcourt, with her skilled netplay, good anticipation and the ability to play deceptive strokes at the net. She is considered very dangerous in the frontcourt with her good reading of the game and sharp interceptions. She also has a strong smash from the backcourt and often makes use of deceptive drops. Gutta was vulnerable in certain areas of her game, most evidently in her movement across the court. She would commit certain unforced errors when pushed to move out of her favoured positions. She had some fitness issues as well. Gutta ahd injury troubles throughout her long career. Gutta is also known for being one of the only top doubles players to still use the forehand service since most other doubles specialists opt for the safer backhand serve. She stands unique in this aspect.

Net worth

According to the official website of BWF, she had a total earning of $ 47,082 from doubles event and $ 49, 149 from mixed events.

Family

Jwala Gutta was born on 7th September 1983 in Wardha to an Indian father, Kranti Gutta and a Chinese mother, Kelan Gutta in Hyderabad in the then Andhra Pradesh. She also has a sister by the name Insi Gutta.

Kranti Gutta’s family had a freedom fighting background in Andhra Pradesh. Yelan Gutta, on the other hand, was born in Tianjin. She came to India in 1977 along with her grandfather to visit the Sevagram ashram. At Sevagram, she translated Gandhi’s autobiography and other works into the Chinese language.

Marriage

Gutta was married to fellow badminton player Chetan Anand from 2005. However, they got divorced in 2011. In 2013, Jwala Gutta expressed her wish for a second marriage.

Achievements

 

Titles

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)

Gold at the 2008 South Asian Games (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2006 South Asian Games (Mixed double)

Gold at the 2010 Indian Open (Mixed double)

Gold at the 2009 Chinese Taipei Open (Mixed double)

Gold at the 2008 Bulgarian Open (Mixed double)

Gold at the 2008 Bitburger Open (Mixed double)

Silver at the 2004 Le Volant d’Or de Toulouse (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2004  Syed Modi International (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2006  Sri Lanka Satellite (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2007 Cyprus International  (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2007 Pakistan International  (Women’s double)

Gold at the 2008 Nepal International  (Women’s double)

Awards

Arjuna Awards

Records

According to the official website of BWF badminton, following is Jwala Gutta’s records over her career in BWF events.

CAREER SINGLES

PERIODPLAYEDWONLOSTBALANCEEARNINGS
ALL723042-121,068
201800000

CAREER DOUBLES

PERIODPLAYEDWONLOSTBALANCEEARNINGS
ALL332165167-247,082
201800000

CAREER MIXED

PERIODPLAYEDWONLOSTBALANCEEARNINGS
ALL19312172+4949,149
201800000

 

Monish Gadiya is a Pune-based sports author at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes innovation is the answer to the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in civil engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in creative writing and intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.

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