I have nothing to lose, everything to gain: Jwala Gutta
Jwala, who has made it to the women's and mixed doubles, is excited about her prospects, more so because the venue is Wembley where she and her partner Ashwini Ponnappa had won the bronze medal at the World Championships last year.
"Expectations have always been there. Somehow I have not felt any pressure till now. I am not scared of losing. Important thing is to perform, to put up a good show. This is my first Olympics. I don't think I have anything to lose at the Olympics, everything to gain. I am going to go there and give it my best shot," a confident Jwala told IANS in an interview.
The glamorous shuttler also realises the enormous responsibility she has on her shoulders, but at the same time she feels honoured to be taking part in two Olympic events.
"There is lot of responsibility on my shoulders. Being a doubles player and to qualify for Olympics is like a dream for anybody. Nobody can even imagine that, but I made it happen and I am happy and proud over it."
Jwala, one of the five Olympics-bound shuttlers, says she feels special to be playing the women's doubles with Ashwini and mixed doubles with V. Diju. The 28-year-old Hyderabadi is gearing up for the big challenge, undergoing intensive training both under the veteran coach Syed Mohammed Arif and Indonesia's Edwin Iriawan.
She is clear in her mind: If she does well, her partners will also do well. "I am working a lot on fitness because I am playing two events. My performance will matter a lot and I can play well if my fitness is good. Fitness will play an important role in my performance."
She along with her junior partner Ashwini will be looking to improve or at least repeat their 2011 World Championships performance. They have the advantage of playing the Olympics at the Wembley Arena.
"The World Championship is the next big tournament after Olympics. I hope that those courts prove to be lucky again. I know Olympics are big, but I have always done well in mega events."
"I also like playing in UK. The way they present the tournament, the way they host is always very good," she said. Jwala believes the conditions also should suit her style of playing as the shuttles will be clearly visible and there will be no glare.
"London is not going to be very cold. It is going to be summer over there. I don't think there will be any problem." Jwala is of the view that being an aggressive player helps her. "I am not scared of anybody, no matter who he or she is, or which country they belong to. That is how I have been from childhood. That is the style of my game."
"I just want to go there and perform. I know if I perform well, medal automatically is a possibility." She believes luck comes into play only if a player performs well.
She says there is nothing like a good draw when everybody is good in a 16 pairs draw.
"It is going to be tough from day one." Jwala has no particular strategy, it can't work. "There is no pre-planned strategy as such, you have to go there with an open mind. I have to be mentally present that day to play a match. Once that happens, I think everything will fall in place."
She added: "Mental strength is mentally being present there at that moment. It is very important because everybody is going to be very fit and everybody has worked hard for this opportunity. Only a person who is mentally strong that day wins the match."