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Badminton: Chirag-Satwik to skip India Open, focus on Olympic qualification

Badminton: Chirag-Satwik to skip India Open, focus on Olympic qualification

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Published: 23 March 2019 4:27 AM GMT
India's top Men's Doubles pair of Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty will not be participating in the India Open scheduled to take place in the country's capital later this month, choosing instead to focus on Olympic qualification- PTI reports. The decision was taken with the idea to provide more time for the duo to achieve peak fitness levels for Olympic qualification. An injury late last year afflicted Satwiksairaj which forced the duo to sit out events starting in 2019 like the tournaments in Malaysia, Indonesia and All England. Even the senior nationals saw Chirag team up with Pranaav Jerry Chopra to clinch the Senior Men's Doubles crown. The duo of Chirag and Satwik were supposed to make a comeback in the India Open until it was decided that they will be sitting this one out. “Satwik has recovered from his injury but he will only start playing full on in another two weeks, so after consulting the physio we decided to skip the events,” Chirag was quoted as saying by PTI. “The Olympic qualification begins next month and we need to be in our absolute best to pursue our dreams of making the cut for the Tokyo Games. So we will be beginning our season with the New Zealand Open World Tour Super 300,” he added. “There is Sudirman Cup and Australia Open next, so in a month’s time we will play three tournaments, so we will be focusing on that now.” For his part, Satwik left people in no doubt about what the intentions of the duo are going to be in this time leading up to the Olympics. “It was a pretty good year for us. We are now planning to get into top 10 by year end. I think we are almost there in the top. There are just few little changes which we have to make and we can be soon be in the top 10,” he was quoted as saying. Following the exit of Coach Tan Kim Her, Indian doubles badminton is going through a bit of a transition at the moment given that the players are going to be adjusting to coaches Flandy Limpele and Namrih Suroto from Indonesia who have taken charge of training the National Doubles team. While it is early days still, Chirag had been quoted as saying that he was looking forward to the new training regime from Indonesia. Clearly, at this point, fitness seems to be a top priority for the Indian team.
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