Senior Indian doubles badminton player Ashwini Ponappa is eyeing a berth at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and said that she’s working particularly hard on her fitness and strength to be in good shape for the upcoming season.

In the badminton calendar, the Olympic qualification will run from April 29, 2019 and April 26, 2020 with the ranking list published on April 30 to be used to decide the spots.

Ashwini, a Red Bull athlete, is quite aware that the road ahead is tough and that her partner N Sikki Reddy will have to accumulate points ahead of the April 30 deadline.

“Focus would be on getting my body strong and fit and working more on basic drills and getting that strong. Since we have just a few months left we will also be playing more tournaments and being fit and ready would be important,” Ashwini told PTI on Saturday.

The world number 24 pair had a dismal run this season mostly crashing out in the opening round 13 times in 20 tournaments and exiting from the second round thrice.

“My partnership with Sikki Reddy has been good. We’ve had pretty close matches with top 10 players, where we have played at a high level. Unfortunately, we have had pretty tough draws and first round losses,” said Ashwini, who had competed at the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics with Jwala Gutta.

“We are working towards playing better and hopefully changing that,” the 30-year old shuttler added.

Ashwini feels it will take time for results to better. “It takes time to produce results. It doesn’t happen in a short span of time. Especially when it comes to doubles. Over the years the game has changed so much. Most pairs are good both at attack and defence, unlike before where pairs were good at one,” she said.

“The growth of women’s doubles in the country is very important right now and through this tournament we are trying to give wings to the aspiring talents,” said Ponappa, who will play with the winners of ‘Red Bull Shuttle Up’ tournament.