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A look at Satwik-Chirag’s qualification for Paris Olympics 2024

Published at :May 26, 2024 at 12:33 AM
Modified at :May 26, 2024 at 12:33 AM
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Siddharthan P

Duo became the first Indian to win gold in badminton at Asian Games.

If there is a duo that has taken India to some unprecedented territories in terms of achievement in badminton, then it is the pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty popularly known as Satwik-Chirag. The tag team partners have been spectacular in the last 24 months, scaling new heights continuously.

Now, they have added a new feather to their cap as they became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for two consecutive Olympics. Having found themselves on the winning podium more often than not in the recent past, the team would be one of the medal hopefuls for India in Paris.

They will look to repeat their title-winning run at the French Open earlier this year which was held in the same arena that is set to host the Olympics. With so many expectations, let’s look at their journey to Paris.

How did Satwik-Chirag qualify for Paris Olympics?

Badminton qualification for the Olympics was determined by rankings over a predetermined time-frame. Unlike the Badminton Global Federation world rankings, which consider performances from the preceding 52 weeks, the Race to Paris Rankings only considered performances from the stated qualifying window between May 1, 2023 to April 28, 2024. Only a few competitions were considered for qualification, including the Uber Cup, World Championships, Sudirman Cup, and other Grade 2 and Grade 3 events.

The tickets for Paris have been reserved by the top 16 players, with a maximum of two players per nation. Each of the three doubles events—men, women and mixed—has 16 quotas. There are a maximum of two pairs permitted per country among the top eight in the rankings and the next best eight duos (with a maximum of one per country) are listed after that. Having finished third in the rankings, the duo ensured their place in Paris.

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Satwik-Chirag’s Journey to Paris Olympics

Despite all the laurels, it was a tough journey to qualify for the Olympics. They started with a disappointing performance in the Sudirman Cup, where they couldn’t register a single win. With early round exits at the 2023 Thailand Open and Singapore Open, the duo was determined to turn things around. They showed their class by becoming the first Indian pair to win the BWF Super 1000 Indonesia Open in 2023 in June.

They doubled it up by winning the Korea Open the next month. With a grueling season ahead, the pair decided to pick and choose tournaments to keep themselves fit as well as compete against the best in the world. The Satwik-Chirag pair clinched the gold at the Asian Games and became the first Indians to do so in badminton.

Although they suffered a couple of losses in finals in early 2024, the French Open and Thailand Open titles would have brought their confidence back for the Olympics.

Satwik-Chirag’s Olympic Career

The pair made their debut at the Tokyo Olympics and made a winning start against Lee Yang and Wang Chi-lin of Chinese Taipei in their opening encounter. Their biggest challenge came against the then World No. 1 pair of Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sukamuljo. The Indian duo was handed a straight-set loss as they had no answers for the Indonesian pair.

Career Highlights

  • Only Indian doubles pair to win BWF World Tour 1000 series.
  • Only Indian doubles pair to become WR 1.
  • First Indians to win gold at Asian Games (2022).
  • Commonwealth Games gold medalists (2022).
  • Thomas Cup gold medalists (2022).
  • World Championships bronze medalists (2022).
  • Asian Championships gold medalists (2023).
  • First Indian men’s doubles pair to win Super 1000 event (2023 Indonesia Open).
  • BWF World Tour (9 Titles).
  • BWF International Challenge (6 Titles).

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