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Asian Games

Asian Games Badminton: Satwik-Chirag ends 41-year medal wait, faces Malaysian pair in semis

By winning the quarterfinal clash against the Singaporean duo, Satwik-Chirag ended India's 41-year wait for a men's doubles medal at the Asian Games. The last Indian pair to win a medal at the Asiad were Leroy D'Sa and Pradeep Gandhe.

Asian Games Badminton: Satwik-Chirag ends 41-year medal wait, faces Malaysian pair in semis
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FILE PHOTO: Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won their seventh BWF World Tour title at the French Open Super 750 on March 10, 2023. 

By

Sudipta Biswas

Updated: 6 Oct 2023 2:52 AM GMT

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty bombarded Singapore's young men's doubles pair Nge Joo Jie and Johann Prajogo, ranked 106th in the world, with smashes en route to their Asian Games 2023 quarterfinal win on Thursday at the BJ Gymnasium in Hangzhou.

Satwik and Chirag pummeled Nge and Johann to register a comfortable 21-7, 21-9 win in 31 minutes. They set up the high-octane semifinal clash against world no. 5 Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia.

By winning the quarterfinal clash, Satwik and Chirag also confirmed a historic men's doubles medal for India at the Asian Games.

The world no. 3 pair ended a 41-year wait for India's men's doubles medal at the Asiad. The last Indian pair to win a medal were Leroy D'Sa and Pradeep Gandhe. They won a bronze medal at the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi.

Coming back from a straight-game win over Leo Rolly Carnando and Daniel Marthin of Indonesia in the Round of 16, Satwik and Chirag broke away to an 11-3 lead in the first game against Nge and Johann, breaching the Singaporeans' defence.

Satwik-Chirag smashes relentlessly

The Indians' fast exchanges and relentless smashing got the better of Nge and Johann at the interval.

Nge and Johann defended well, but the Indians' smash fest forced them to concede a 13-4 lead.

Though Satwik and Chirag extend their lead to 18-6, Nge has shown a rare spark of his skill by hitting a flat smash, to which Satwik has no chance but to sense its power.

The Indians eventually won the game 21-7, with Satwik's flat smash going into Johann's body.

In the second game, Nge and Johann played a little better, staying up in the fight till 4-9 before Satwik and Chirag broke away to a 13-5 lead with several quick points.

But again, Nge, displaying his brilliant court craft, played a crosscourt drop shot, which Chirag ran into the net. With the Indian pair keeping their smashing on and earning points almost in every service, they would break away to a 16-6 lead before winning the second game 21-9, with Nge going wide at the fag end of the match.

In the semifinals, Satwik and Chirag will run into their arch nemesis Aaron Chia and Shoo Wooi Yik. The Malaysians have defeated their Indian opponents eight times to date, but Satwik and Chirag tasted their first success at the Indonesia Open earlier this year. It will be the battle to watch out for on Friday.

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