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Jwala Gutta on facing racism and lost opportunities

Jwala Gutta
Credits: TOI

Jwala Gutta has won numerous laurels for India in the women’s and mixed doubles category. bronze medal 2011 BWF World Championships in London and a gold and silver at 2010 and 2014 .Commonwealth Games respectively in the women’s doubles Gutta has been very vocal about issues like better facilities for doubles in India, fair treatment of players ,gender equality, to mention a few. The Arjuna Awardee Spoke to India Today, opening up about facing racism and lost opportunities in her career.

In the early 2000’s Jwala Gutta and Pullela Gopichand played mixed doubles together and won the title in National championships. But somewhere over the years their relationship turned sour.

“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,” Jwala told India Today during an interaction

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“I acknowledge what he has achieved and I had expectations from him. Gopi knows my potential and what I was capable of. He was part of the establishment and he knew my potential, so it was quite natural for me to have expectations from him. 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. But for the last 10-12 years, only players from Hyderabad or Telugu players are in prominence. If a player is from one particular academy he will get recognition.”

“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,” Jwala, said.

Talking about foreign coaches leaving before completion of their tenure, she said, “Why are foreign coaches not staying? There is internal politics and that is the reason why foreign coaches leave without completing their tenures. The reason is they don’t get the acknowledgement and feel disrespected, not just from the players but from the establishment, and I am an eyewitness to it.”

Jwala Gutta has received criticism on social media due to her looks as her mother is of Chinese descent.

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“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.