Ashwini leaves IBL behind, concentrates on World Championships

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) Top Indian doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponnappa wants to leave the disappointment of the Indian Badminton League (IBL) players' auction behind and concentrate on the forthcoming World Championships, to be held in Guangzhou Aug 5-11.

"The last couple of days, the IBL distraction disrupted my training, but now I am back on court and practising hard for the upcoming World Championships. I am training in Bangalore right now while my doubles partner Pradnya Gadre is training in Hyderabad," Ashwini told IANS from Bangalore.

Ashwini and her fellow-icon Jwala Gutta were upset with the IBL auction as their base price was reduced from $50,000 to $25,000 without informing them. The two said they felt humiliated and disappointed with the way they were treated.

On her preparation for the World Championships, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) employee said: "The preparation has been good. I am working on my fitness."

The 23-year-old Ashwini and Jwala, 29, created history at the 2011 World Championships in London when they won the bronze medal, only the second at the championships after Prakash Padukone's singles bronze in 1983 at Copenhagen.

Asked whether she and her new partner Pradnya can win a medal this time, Ashwini said: "I have always taken one match at a time. It does not make sense predicting things so I am concentrating right now on the first round. We have a tough first round, let's first clear it."

Ashwini, the highest ranked Indian in doubles at World No.27 with Pradnya, will face Danish pair Line Damkjaer Kruse and Marie Roepke in the first round for the first time.

The Bangalorean, also the country's highest-ranked player in mixed doubles at No.30, will partner Tarun Kona, and the pair will face unseeded Japanese duo Hirokatsu Hashimoto and Miyuki Maeda in their first-ever meeting.


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