Indian badminton star Jwala Gutta, who became the first shuttler from India to qualify for two events in the 2012 Olympics -- the women's doubles and the mixed doubles -- is banking on her mental strength to bring glory back home during the Rio Olympics 2016. As many as seven badminton players have sealed berths for India in the quadrennial sporting event this time around.
Gutta, 32, will be featuring in her second-ever Olympics this year. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medal winner in women's doubles will be pairing up with her old friend and on-court partner Ashwini Ponnappa at the women's doubles event at Rio Olympics.
Seen as someone who doesn't mince her words, Gutta is raring to go and is keen on achieving what she and Ashwini couldn't the last time at the 2012 London Olympics -- where they missed a quarterfinals berth in the women's doubles event by just one point. This time however, the duo are keen on putting their best efforts forward.
"Physically, all the contenders [in the Olympics] will be at the same level. The team which is strong mentally on that day will win. So we are focusing on our mental strength, our presence of mind," Gutta told The Times of India. "[We are focusing] On every point, every rally, on every minute detail, [we will also] not panic and most importantly, work on our consistency.
"Both Ashwini and I have same kind of goals. We believe in ourselves, our skills and the sport. Ashwini has the right kind of attitude that syncs with me, I guess that works on the court. It's the attitude that matters, that's why we are still here. It's as simple as that," added Gutta.
Gutta joins Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Ashwini Ponnappa, Manu Attri, Sumeeth Reddy and Kidambi Srikanth in the Rio Olympics, scheduled to start Aug. 5.