Hyderabad: Miffed with her selection in the doubles category — despite a strong singles ranking — for next month’s World Junior Championship, budding shuttler Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy has asked the Badminton Association of India to withdraw her entry. In a letter marked to the Prime Minister, Sports Minister, Chief Justice of India, Badminton Association of India president and the CBI, Vaishnavi’s 70-year-old grandmother Jakka Sowjanya Reddy spoke of the ‘injustice’ meted out to the shuttler.
“My granddaughter is a serious singles player ranked 12th in the Badminton World Federation junior world rankings — the second highest ranked Indian in that category and at 15 years, is the youngest to hold that rank. She would not contemplate participating in a doubles event for a mere formality and waste precious tax payers’ monies,” Mrs Reddy, who accompanies Vaishnavi to tournaments around the world, wrote.
“My granddaughter has been selected for doubles, paired with a singles player namely Malvika Bansod which is gross injustice. Putting two single players in doubles category also destroys two deserving doubles players of their opportunities,” she wrote.
Mrs Reddy also flagged a conflict of interest issue against national chief coach Pullela Gopichand and alleged a witch hunt against Vaishnavi. “Favouritism has been shown to Gayatri (Gopi’s daughter) by selecting her in the Under 19 singles, a category in which she has no ranking — national or international,” she wrote.
Vaishnavi is a former doubles partner of Gayatri and used to practice at the Gopichand Academy. Now she trains at the Banthongyord Badminton School in Bangkok.
Mrs Reddy also alleged that Sports Authority of India coaches who were attached to the Gopichand Academy “ganged up” and refused to help Vaishnavi in “stretching and knocking for the match preparation in an international tournament in Jakarta earlier this year as she was not from the Academy.”
“Sport cannot be played under pressure, murky politics, fear of being targeted,” Mrs Reddy’s lengthy letter reads.
“All this is effecting the mental health of my granddaughter, who does not wish to live anymore. She is even contemplating change in citizenship. I am scared about her state of mind,” she wrote, adding “I will soon come to India and initiate proceedings in the honourable Supreme Court.”...