World No. 1 Position Is Our Goal: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

File image of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy© AFP

India is yet to win a medal in the Olympics when it comes to the doubles events in badminton. To end that badminton drought, one of the biggest hopes is the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty in the Paris Olympics 2024. “As long as we are able to maintain fitness and stay focused, we are ready for any event. In Tokyo we came close by beating the famed Chinese Taipei pair in the very first match of the competition and it was sheer bad luck that we had to bow out having won the same number of matches as the two other teams in the group. In fact, the Taipei pair went on to win gold, proof of how close the competition was. We know we are ready. We are in the best mental frame. We want to be the world no. 1 team and win a medal in Paris for India and we won’t stop till we achieve these dreams,” said India’s doubles badminton player Satwiksairaj Rankireddy on Backstage with Boria show.

As a pair both Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty go really well along with each other on the court but off it both are pretty different in their choices.

Chirag Shetty said on the show said, “What works for us is we are very different people and yet very similar. We travel and stay together and yet our habits and likes and dislikes are profoundly different. While I am outgoing and flamboyant, Satwik is an introvert. While Satwik prefers Indian food, I love Japanese and other global cuisines. We either go to a food court where all options are available or one of us eats first while the other offers company and then go to a place where the other gets his preferred food.”

“Most importantly we are there for each other on bad days. If you are playing doubles the first thing is you can’t blame your partner for an off day. You win together and you lose together. You need to take it on your chin and move on. Things won’t go well for you everyday, and you need to understand that as sportspeople,” added Satwiksairaj.

According to Pullela Gopichand, “They have a complete game and are surely going to be the team to watch out for in the next few years. If you check, there are few like them around the world. They have the physical strength to hit the big smashes, they have the defence and age is on their side. They will only get better. And having played in Tokyo and knowing what it is all about they will surely be one of our best bets for Paris.”

After playing a major role in helping India win the Thomas Cup followed by a gold in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and two super series titles the expectations from this pair are sky high. In 2023, they are expected to win a medal in Asian Games in Hangzhou. In the year 2024, they will be one of India’s best bets to win an Olympic medal in badminton doubles.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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