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London Olympics: Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lose opening group match

Jwala, Ashwini lose Olympic opener
By Indo-Asian News Service
Sat, Jul 28, 2012 19:22:46 GMT

London Olympics: Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lose opening group match
Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, the Indian pair for Badminton, started their Olympics campaign with a loss to Japanese duo on Saturday.

Indian women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost their opening group match to the Japanese duo of Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa at the London Olympics badminton tournament here Saturday.

The Indian pair was thrashed 16-21, 18-21 in 45 minutes in their Group B match being played at the Wembley Arena. Jwala and Ashwini had won the World Championship bronze at the same venue here last year.

Jwala and Ashwini will need to win their next two group matches to qualify for the knockouts.

Jwala said the first match is always a tough match.

"The first match is always tough. We were prepared for the challenge but couldn't execute our plans properly," Jwala said.

Jwala, however, blamed the Badminton World Federation (BWF) for scheduling blunder.

"It's pretty shocking for it (a scheduling blunder) to happen at the Olympics. It is such a big event. Two matches on a day can affect anyone," said Jwala, who earlier in the day suffered a mixed doubles match loss with V. Diju

Jwala and Diju, who lost to Indonesia's Tontowi Ahmad and Liliyana Natsi, are in a must-win situation in their next group C match against Danish duo Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Thomas Laybourn Sunday.

Jwala said they have to be more aggressive against the Danes if they have to move beyond the group stage.

"Aggression will be the key. We have beaten Liliyana and Tontowi before and I don't see any reason why we can't beat them again," said Jwala.

Only two of the four teams will qualify for the quarter-finals from each of the four groups. The Indian team will next play Wen Hsing Chengn and Yu Chin Chien of Chinese Taipei Sunday.
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