Asian Badminton Championships: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made history on Sunday by winning India’s second gold medal in the Badminton Asia Championships, beating Malaysia’s eighth seeds Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the men’s doubles final here.
Shetty and Rankireddy defeated the Malaysians Yew Sin Ong and Ee Yi Teo 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in the final in the 2023 edition, coming back from losing the first game to win the next two games and winning the historic gold medal.
This was India’s second gold medal in the Asian Badminton Championships after Dinesh Khanna bagged the men’s singles gold in 1965. Satwik and Chirag are also the first Indian pair to reach the final of the Asian Championship and went on to win the gold medal.
Shetty and Rankireddy, who won the bronze medal in Men’s Doubles at the 2022 World Championships in Tokyo, have claimed two bronze medals in the Asian Team Championships (2016, 2020).
The gold on Sunday could be considered the biggest medal in their career thus far as the Indian duo has won five titles on the BWF World Tour and have twice finished runners-up.
Shetty and Rankireddy started the final on a bright note and played some ferocious shots to get into the right rhythm. They were behind only by a point (10-11) at the halfway stage. However, the Indian pair soon lost momentum as Sin and Yi encashed upon their mistakes to take the first game.
The Malaysian pair continued their momentum in the second game as they took (11-6) lead at the halfway stage. It appeared like it was all over for Shetty and Rankireddy but they didn’t lose hope and made a strong comeback (15-14) before winning the game to level the match. The third game also went down to the wire where Shetty and Rankireddy reigned supreme to clinch the gold medal.
This is the first-ever gold medal for India at the Badminton Asia Championships in the men’s doubles category. Dipu Ghosh and Raman Ghosh won a bronze medal in 1971 when they reached the semifinals of the competition.
“I congratulate Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy for creating history at the Badminton Asia Championships. They played brilliantly during the whole tournament. The amount of composure they showed, even in the most crunch situations, is applaudable. This is their first medal in the Badminton Asia Championships and I hope they continue their impressive run in the upcoming competitions as well,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of the Badminton Association of India.