Badminton: Satwiksairaj-Chirag’s rise the result of rigorous trainingprogramme

PETALING JAYA: India’s men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Chirag Shetty are reaping the rewards of their dedication and persistence following a series of first-time achievements.

The Indian duo moved up two positions to reach the pinnacle of the world rankings last week after their historic gold medal win for India at the Hangzhou Asian Games earlier this month.

Satwiksairaj-Chirag also played a crucial role in winning their country’s first ever silver in the men’s team event at the Asiad.

With these achievements, Satwiksairaj-Chirag etched their names in history as the first Indian pair to ascend to the world No. 1 ranking and secure an Asian Games gold medal.

Another watershed moment for Satwiksairaj-Chirag was when they successfully ended their winless streak against national No. 1 men’s doubles pair Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, securing not just one, but two consecutive victories – the final of the Indonesian Open in June and semi-final of the Asiad – after losing in their previous eight meetings prior to these wins.

All of these achievements were not by a stroke of luck. They were the direct results of their tireless dedication and rigorous training regimes.

“Both of us were quite depressed with the way we played earlier,” said Chirag to the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

“We spoke to each other and we knew we had to go higher.

“We weren’t playing to the best of our abilities.

“We’d lost in the quarters of the World Championships and the first round of the China Open.

“When we went back home, we trained even on Sundays.

“There was just one goal in our mind that we had to push ourselves as hard as possible during training.

“It’s because of the hard work put in by both of us, our team and coaches that we managed to create history for India.”

Satwiksairaj acknowledged that in the past, he would serve and rely on his partner to cover him during matches but changing that made the difference in their performance.

“For the first time we had an open talk with our coach, about what we should change, about our game plan, what worked in Dubai (Asian Championships) and what didn’t,” said Satwiksairaj.

“I was hiding. I was not taking my shuttles, I was waiting for Chirag to take all the shuttles.

“I took the step to make it more balanced.”

Satwiksairaj-Chirag had to withdrew from the ongoing Denmark Open due to the former’s shoulder injury.

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