Power Trendsetter: Jwala Gutta
The country’s top-level doubles specialist and winner of numerous medals for badminton, Jwala Gutta — an Arjuna Award winner — has blazed her own trail in the world of sports. A daring player (playing with Valiyaveetil Diju in mixed doubles, she has earlier been ranked as high as number 7), she is waiting for her chance to increase the medal count in the Rio 2016 Olympics.
On being an inspiration: “It feels great, but there is also a lot of responsibility involved and I shouldn’t forget that. I know a lot of people look up to me and that’s the reason I try to do and say the right thing. That gives me the strength and power to move forward. It feels good, but there is a lot of pressure too.”
On her doubles victories: “That is a big achievement, for both me and Indian badminton. My games were never encouraged and looked up to, but I feel like I’ve laid a path for my juniors and the upcoming players after having achieved these feats. It isn’t easy even though people assume that a doubles match is physically less demanding. You need to be as fit as any other athlete.”
Biggest learning: “That the world around you is not always helpful. I always thought that I was surrounded by good and that whoever spoke to me was trustworthy. But that’s not true.”
Read about our next power woman, Dr Savita.