Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached the final of the men's doubles at the Badminton Asia Championships 2023 on Saturday in Dubai. Their opponents in Chinese Taipei's Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin were forced to withdraw in the second game due to the latter's injury.
The first game was quite closely-contested between the pairs as both took turns in taking the lead. At the lemon break, Lee and Wang had their noses in front with the slightest of margins. The tide turned towards the Indians when they got a two-point lead at 19-17, after which they clinched it 21-18.
In the beginning of the second game, Chirag Shetty got a sight niggle in his right ankle which was swiftly catered to with a pain-relief spray. The Taipei shuttlers started the game strong, slowly maintaining some distance between their opponents and themselves.
However, the stubborn duo of Satwik-Chirag stuck to their guns and kept levelling the scores. At 13-14 to the Taipei duo, Wang Chi-Lin crumbled to the floor after he seemed to pull his groin or thigh muscle after over-extending during a rally. This injury meant that the Chinese Taipei pair were forced to withdraw midway of the second game to give the Indians a fairly easy route to a historic final.
Satwik/Chirag will face Malaysia's Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the final in the hopes of getting India's first ever gold medal in men's doubles in the competition's history.