Jwala GUTTA

India IND

Badminton

  • Games participations
    2
  • First Olympic Games
    London 2012
  • Year of Birth
    1983
Olympic Results

Biography

Jwala GUTTA

While chronicling the rise of women's badminton in India, Jwala Gutta's name is often mentioned in the same breath as Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.

Until the early 2000s, the narrative of Indian badminton on the global stage was exclusively driven by men's players like Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand.

The script, however, changed with the rise of Saina Nehwal, who brought women's badminton to the fore. PV Sindhu followed soon after.

As Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu carried the Indian torch forward in the singles circuit, Jwala Gutta emerged as India's poster-girl in the doubles arena.

Born to a Telugu father and Chinese mother, Jwala Gutta’s early inclination was towards tennis but she switched over to badminton on the insistence of her mother, Yelan.

Jwala Gutta honed her badminton skills under Dronacharya Award-winning coach Syed Mohammed Arif since she was six and before long, emerged as a rising star of Indian badminton.

In 2000, a 17-year-old Jwala Gutta won the women’s doubles in the senior national badminton championships with Shruti Kurien.

The duo would go on to be national champions seven more times from 2002 to 2008 and struck up a formidable partnership in international events as well, winning the 2006 South Asian Games gold medal and the 2008 Bulgarian Open BWF Grand Prix event.

Most of Jwala Gutta’s big early international successes, however, came in mixed doubles with V Diju as her partner.

Jwala Gutta and V Diju, who won the 2006 South Asian Games mixed doubles gold together, became the first Indian mixed doubles pair to win a Grand Prix Gold title after clinching the 2009 Chinese Taipei Open.

The same year, Jwala Gutta and V Diju reached the quarter-finals of the BWF World Championships and went on to repeat the feat a year later. They also made it to the mixed doubles final of the season-ending BWF Super Series Masters Finals in 2009.

The year 2010, though, marked a milestone season in Jwala Gutta’s career for a different reason.

With the 2010 Commonwealth Games being held at New Delhi, Jwala Gutta decided to end her long-standing women’s doubles partnership with Shruti Kurien and paired up with Ashwini Ponnappa – a young and unproven talent at the time.

The duo’s maiden campaign was nothing short of a dream run as they clinched the Commonwealth Games gold, upsetting several top-tier teams en route.

The win was just the beginning of a very fruitful partnership that brought India several accolades in the years to come. In the same year, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa finished runners up at the India Open.

In 2011, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa became the first Indian pair in history to win a medal at the BWF World Championships. They had claimed the bronze after an incredible run which featured a second-round victory over former world No. 1 Chinese Taipei pair of Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin.

Leading into the 2012 London Olympics, Jwala Gutta qualified for both the doubles and mixed doubles events, making her the first Indian badminton player in history to make the Olympic cut in two separate events.

Drawn in Group B in the doubles event at London, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost their opening match against Japan’s Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa but bounced right back with victories over Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Wen-hsing and Chien Yu-chin and Singapore’s Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei.

However, the Indian pair missed out on a place in the quarter-finals on a technicality.

Tied on points with Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa, the Indians had to make way for eventual silver medallists due to the difference between points scored and conceded during the group matches. The Indian duo, heartbreakingly, missed out by a single point.

In mixed doubles, Jwala Gutta and V Diju represented India but lost all three of their group matches.

Following London 2012, Jwala Gutta took a sabbatical from badminton.

In 2014, Jwala Gutta reunited with Ashwini Ponnappa and went on to win the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and bronze at the Asian championships in Gimcheon, South Korea. A Canadian Open Grand Prix gold followed in 2015.

The duo also played an integral part in India winning two historic bronze medals at the 2014 and 2016 Uber Cups.

Heading into the 2016 Olympics, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won the 2016 South Asian Games gold and seemed ready for a successful campaign. But misfortune struck as Ashwini Ponnappa contracted dengue leading up to the main event.

With Ashwini Ponnappa nowhere close to a 100 per cent, the Indian duo failed to win any of their three group stage matches and bowed out of the tournament early.

Jwala Gutta hasn’t been active on the international stage since 2016. Lately, the Indian badminton star has dedicated herself towards nurturing young talents and formally unveiled the Jwala Gutta Academy of Excellence in Hyderabad in 2020.

Over the course of her playing days, Jwala Gutta – a 2011 Arjuna Awardee – achieved a career-high mixed doubles ranking of 6 in 2010 and women’s doubles ranking of 10 in 2015. This makes her the only Indian to have broken into the top 10 in both the doubles badminton categories.

Off the court, Jwala Gutta is known to be a fierce advocate for women's rights and a big social media influencer.

On the personal front, Jwala Gutta was briefly married to fellow Indian shuttler Chetan Anand from 2005 to 2011. She married Tamil movie actor Vishnu Vishal on April 22, 2021.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Rio 2016

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Doubles
Doubles Badminton
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

London 2012

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Doubles
Doubles Badminton
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Doubles
Doubles Badminton