Ashwini Ponnappa | India’s Ace Shuttler

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Her Life: A Story of Women Empowerment

  • Year 1989 – Born in Bangalore.
  • Year 2004 – Won her first national title.
  • Year 2010 – Got the gold medal at the South Asian Games in women’s doubles.
  • Year 2014 – Won the silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in women’s doubles.
  • Year 2017 – Got married to Karan Medappa.

Everything on the court depends on you, there is no one else around who you can blame for your shortcomings.

Ashwini Ponnappa Machimanda is an Indian badminton star known for her speed on court, calm nature and hard smashes. Counted among the best badminton players in the country, she and Jwala Gutta are India’s most successful women’s doubles pairing in the sport. The duo made history when they won a bronze at the 2011 World Championships.

Childhood

Ashwini Ponnappa was born on 18th September 1989 in Bangalore. Her father, M. A. Ponnappa played hockey for India. But Ashwini preferred badminton over hockey and so she started training in badminton. Her mother was Kaveri Ponnappa. She comes from a family with sports background.

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She completed her schooling from St. Francis Xavier’s Girl’s High School in Bangalore and then moved to Hyderabad for graduation. Her badminton journey began at the tender age of eight when her parents gave her a racket to channelize her hyper activeness. Ashwini Ponnappa married businessman and model Karan Medappa on 24th December 2017 in Coorg, Karnataka.

Becoming a Badminton Player

Ashwini Ponnappa won her first national title in 2004 in the sub junior girl’s doubles group. She then won the national title in sub junior girls doubles in 2005, and the junior girl’s doubles National title in 2006 and also in 2007. She also won the gold medal in mixed doubles at the South Asian Games held in 2010. In the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she again grabbed the gold medal in the Women’s Doubles event by pairing with Jwala Gutta. The next year, she and Jwala, in one of their finest performances, became the first Indian pair to win a medal at the World Badminton Championship.

She participated in the women’s doubles match at the 2012 London Olympics. Ponnappa and Gutta lost the opening match to Japanese duo Mizuki Fujii and Reika Kakiiwa. They then went on to beat a greater ranked Wen Hsing Cheng and Yu Chin Chien of Chinese Taipei to register the first win in group stages. The duo missed out on a quarterfinal berth by a difference of one point, even though they beat Shinta Mulia Sari and Lei Yao of Singapore in the last group B match after tying with Japan and Taipei on the number of wins.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Ponnappa and Gutta got the silver medal in the women’s doubles after losing to the Singaporean pair in the finals. On June 29, 2015, the duo won the Canadian Open women’s doubles title by beating the top seeded Dutch duo of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek. She then competed with Gutta at the 2016 Olympics, but lost all three of the group stage matches. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Ponnappa was a part of the Indian team which won gold in the mixed team event, and then won bronze with N. Sikki Reddy in women’s doubles.

Awards and Recognition

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One of the most accomplished badminton players of this generation, she has earned tons of awards for her game. In the women’s doubles badminton event of Commonwealth Games, Ponnappa won Gold in 2010, Silver in 2014 and Bronze in 2018. She won bronze at the BWF World Championship in 2011 and at the 2014 Asia Championships in women’s doubles. Ponnappa won Gold at BWF Grand Prix Canada Open in 2015 in Women’s double match. She also won Gold at the South Asian Games in the year 2016 in women’s doubles.

Read more: SANIA MIRZA | THE INDIAN TENNIS STAR

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