London: Jwala Gutta criticised Saturday’s badminton schedule soon after easily losing her opening group match in the mixed doubles section of the London Olympics badminton championship.
Gutta said it was unfair to force her to play a first round women’s doubles match on the same day. As things would have it, Jwala and Ashwini Ponappa also lost their opening group B match.
One of India’s medal hopes in the London Games, the mixed doubles team of Jwala and V. Diju lost their group C contest against Indonesian pair of Liliyana Natsir and Tontowi Ahmad 21-16, 21-12 in just 27 minutes. The Indonesians are ranked No. 1 in their group.
Unusually lethargic, the result was quite a disappointing one for the Indian duo. “The first match is always a difficult one. We were quite prepared but the execution was far from what we had planned,” Jwala said.
Jwala and Diju must win their next group C match against Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Thomas Laybourn of Denmark on Sunday to keep their hopes alive in the championship. The top two teams from every group – there are four – will advance to the knockout rounds.