Sports Champion

Indian @Rio Olympics 2016: Ashwini Ponnappa

Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.

Indian badminton doubles star Ashwini Ponnappa has already seen several memorable moments during the course of her career. Her successful partnership with Jwala Gutta in the doubles has brought India many laurels and they continue to be the pair on which the country’s doubles hopes are pinned on.After first bursting on to the scene as an 18-year-old in 2007, Ponnappa has made steady if not rapid strides in her career, and with Gutta will be a key component if India are to excel in the sport in Rio 2016.

Here are 10 things to know about the badminton ace:

  1. Ashwini Ponnappa was born on the 18th of September, 1989 in Coorg, Karnataka. Her father was a national hockey player. However, she preferred badminton over hockey and started training in the sport.
  2. She completed her schooling at St. Francis Xavier’s Girl’s High School in Bengaluru and moved to Hyderabad to pursue her bachelors degree.
  3. Ponnappa shot to fame when she won the Indian junior championships in 2001, as a 12-year old and then five years later, clinched the Gold at the South Asian Games to impress many an expert and supporter.
  4. At the 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, she partnered Jwala Gutta to the Gold in the Women’s Doubles, with the two thereby becoming the first Indian pair to win a medal in that category at the event. Ponnappa was also part of the team that won a silver in the Mixed Team event at the Games.
  5. In 2011, Ponnappa and Gutta came up with one of their finest performances when they won a bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships in Copenhagen, thereby becoming Indian doubles pair and only the second after Prakash Padukone (1983), to stand on the podium at the marquee event.
  6. In 2012 Olympics, Ashwini-Jwala pair narrowly missed out on a quarterfinal berth by a difference of just one point, thus denying them a medal.
  7. In June 2015, Ashwini-Jwala pair won the Canada Open women’s doubles title by defeating the top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek. It was the pair’s first and only title in the year.
  8. 2014 turned out to be a fruitful year for the duo as they won the silver medal in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, and followed that up with Bronze medals in the Asian Games in Incheon and the Uber Cup in New Delhi.
  9. Ponnappa played for the Pune Pistons in the inaugural edition of the Indian Badminton League. In 2015, Bengaluru Top Guns chose her to represent their franchise in the Premier Badminton League (PBL).
  10. The 26-year old is an animal lover and loves listening to music in her spare time.

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