Early life

Jwala Gutta was born on 7 September 1983 in Wardha, Maharashtra and brought up in Hyderabad, Telangana, to a Telugu father and a Chinese mother. Jwala's father, Kranti Gutta, hailed from a family of freedom fighters and Leftists from Peddapuliveru in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district.[6][7] Her mother, Yelan Gutta, was born in Tianjin, and is a granddaughter of a Gandhian named Tseng. Yelan first came to India in 1977 with her grandfather to visit the Sevagram ashram, where she translated Gandhi's autobiography and other works into Chinese language.[8] Gutta has a younger sister, Insi Gutta.[9] Initially inclined towards playing tennis, Gutta shifted to badminton at insistence from her mother.[10][11] She was introduced to the national badminton coach S. M. Arif, by her father at the age of four. Arif recommended her to learn gymnastics or swimming for a couple of years before starting training for badminton.[12] Gutta later started training under Arif, at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium.

Jwala started playing badminton at the age of six. Her chief achievement as a youngster was to win the Under-13 Girls Mini National Badminton Championship held at Thrissur, Kerala. In 2000, Jwala (aged 17) won the Junior National Badminton Championship. The same year, she also won the Women's Doubles Junior National Championship and the Senior National Badminton Championship, both in partnership with Shruti Kurien. This association was to last several years, and the pairing of Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien won the Women's Doubles National title for seven years in succession, from 2002 to 2008.

Jwala Gutta (born 7 September 1983) is a left-handed Indian badminton player. Born in Wardha to an Indian father and Chinese mother, she began playing badminton at a young age. She is India's most successful doubles specialist, and has won the National Badminton Championships fourteen times. Having represented India at the international circuit since the late 1990s, partnering Shruti Kurien earlier in her career, Gutta found greater international success with Ashwini Ponnappa. The pair consistently figured among the top-twenty in the BWF World Ranking reaching as high as no. 10 in 2015. She is the first badminton player of Indian to qualify for two events in the Olympics–women's doubles with Ponnappa and mixed doubles with V. Diju at London. Gutta is known for her skilled left-handed stroke-play and is one of the very few notable doubles players who use a forehand service.

Gutta has won numerous medals for Indian badminton including the bronze medal 2011 BWF World Championships in London, and a gold and silver at 2010 and 2014 Commonwealth Games respectively in the women's doubles event which were the first for the country in the discipline. Other achievements include the historic bronze medal at the 2014 Thomas & Uber Cup held at New Delhi, a bronze medal at Badminton Asia Championships in the same year and final and semi-final appearances in many big international events most notably the finals appearance at the 2009 BWF Super Series Masters Finals, alongside Diju which was the first for the country in any discipline.

Gutta has been credited to have brought recognition for doubles badminton in India, first with her mixed doubles partner Diju with whom she peaked at no. 6 in 2010 becoming the first doubles partnership from the country to be ranked amongst the top-10 and later with her partnership with Ponnappa in women's doubles. She paired with Ponappa at the Rio 2016 Olympics where the pair crashed out in the group stage with two consecutive losses at the hands of opponents from Japan and Netherlands.[3] Gutta has won medals at all major international badminton tournaments and multi-sport events, except for the Olympics.[4] In addition to her badminon career, Gutta has been vociferous for the issues she advocates for, ranging from fair treatment in sports, health and education, women's empowerment and gender equality. She has been listed several times among the top most inspiring sportswomen of India. She was awarded the Arjuna Award, India's second highest sporting award for her achievements. Gutta was married to badminton player Chetan Anand from 2005-2011. She told ESPN that she was contemplating retirement, after entering negotiations for a coaching role for BAI in May 2017.

Career highlights

Result Year Tournament Partner Opponent Score
Winner 2008 Bitburger Open India V. Diju Denmark Joachim Fischer Nielsen / Christinna Pedersen 8–21 21–17 22–20
Winner 2008 Bulgaria Open India Shruti Kurian Indonesia Shendy Puspa Irawati / Meiliana Jauhari 21–11 21–19
Runner-up 2009 Indian Open India V. Diju Indonesia Flandy Limpele / Vita Marissa 14–21 17–21
Winner 2009 Chinese Taipei GP Gold India V. Diju Indonesia Hendra Aprida Gunawan / Vita Marissa 23–21 21–18
Winner 2010 Indian GP Gold India V. Diju Singapore Chayut Triyachart / Lei Yao 23–21 20–22 21–7
Runner-up 2010 Indian GP Gold India Ashwini Ponnappa Singapore Shinta Mulia Sari / Lei Yao 11–21 21–9 15–21
Winner 2015 Canada Open India Ashwini Ponnappa Netherlands Eefje Muskens / Selena Piek 21–19 21–16