Tokyo Olympics: Satwik/Chirag succumb to The Minions once again in Badminton
After a hard fought battle, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty resign to World no. 1 pair, Kevin Sukamuljo and Marcus Gideon of Indonesia.
Let's not kid ourselves. The odds were steeped heavily against the World No. 10 dynamic duo from India - Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty as they headed into the clash against the legendary World No. 1 Indonesian pair of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo. In just 32 minutes the Indian pair succumbed to the World No. 1s in straight sets, 13-21 and 12-21.
Placed in the 'Group of Death', Satwik-Chirag made a fantastic debut at their maiden Olympics on the very first day of the much-awaited Tokyo Olympics. Giving stiff competition to the World No. 3 pair from Chinese Taipei - Lee Yang/Wang Chi-Lin, Satwik-Chirag ended the 15-match winning streak of the Taiwanese duo to pull off an upset, 16-21, 21-16, 25-27.
However, going up against the World No. 1 duo from Indonesia - The Minions, Satwik-Chirag couldn't convert the match despite putting on a brave fight. As it is, the Minions - called so because of their diminutive frames, led the head to head at 8-nil against the young Indian pair.
The match lived up to its expectation as it started off with a flyer with both the teams indulging in fast-paced rallies. Kevin Sukamuljo in particular showed why he's arguably the most exciting player in the men's doubles circuit.
The returns and interceptions done by him were absolutely exceptional and were a treat to the eyes of the spectators. The Indians tried to stay in the match despite being at a 4 point deficit and a toe injury to Chirag Shetty before losing the first set 13-21.
The second set seemed to have been started on a good note by the Indians when they raced to a 6-3 lead before the Indonesians made an astounding comeback and led the Indians 9-7, winning 6 points on the trot.
Sukamuljo proved to be the difference between both the teams as the sensational player made unbelievable interceptions and played some astounding shots to decimate the Indian duo.
The Indian pair now face Sean Vendy-Ben Lane, the English pair and would look to win that match drawing inspiration from their first encounter against the third seed pair of the Chinese Taipei.