The Indian men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy created history here on Sunday as they clinched the gold medal after beating Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the final of the Badminton Asia Championships 2023.
Shetty and Rankireddy defeated the Malaysian pair 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a thrilling men’s doubles final that lasted an hour and seven minutes. BAI President Himanta Biswa Sarma announced 20 lacs as a reward for this historic win by the Indian pair.
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 semi-finals of the competition. Meanwhile, Dinesh Khanna is the only gold medal winner for India in the men’s singles category in the continental championships. He won the men’s singles title back in 1965.
“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.
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 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.
After the match, Shetty stated, “I am over the moon after winning the Badminton Asia Championships title. I and Satwik worked really hard for this medal and I am happy that we have finally won the title. Also, I would like to thank everyone back home for supporting me.
“I am grateful for all the support we have got during the Badminton Asia Championships. It’s a great feeling to win this tournament for the first time and I am sure we will win more such titles in the future. We will continue to work hard to bring laurels to the country,” concluded Rankireddy.