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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Satwik-Chirag pair finishes Worlds campaign with historic bronze


Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty finish-off their memorable BWF World Championships campaign with a historic bronze medal in the men’s doubles event after going down to Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals here on Saturday.

The world number 7 Indian pair, which had claimed the Commonwealth Games men’s doubles gold early this month, went down 22-20, 18-21, 16-21 to the Olympic bronze medallist in a 77-minute.

The loss against the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists also ended India’s campaign at this year’s championships.

This was India’s first ever medal in men’s doubles and second in doubles discipline after Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa’s bronze in 2011 edition. Overall, its the 13th world badminton championships medal for India .

The Indian duo started off strong and went into the first break with a five-point advantage but the Malaysian pair grew in confidence as the match progressed.

Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, who were solid in defence, levelled the game at 16-all. Chirag and Satwiksairaj with better play at the net survived the comeback to win the first game, 22-20.

The second game saw both pairs struggling to build momentum before the interval. Aaron and Soh, with four consecutive points after the break, got the much-needed cushion and then stretched the match into the decider.

Both pairs continued to engage in long rallies in the third game. Trailing 16-15, the India duo conceded five of the next six points to go down in the semifinals in 77 minutes.

This was the sixth consecutive defeat against the world number 6 pair for Satwik and Chirag. The Indians had lost to the same combination at the CWG mixed team final early this month.

Earlier at the badminton world championships, Satwik and Chirag beat 2021 world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in the quarterfinals.

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