Last Updated: April 30, 2023, 21:27 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty for winning a historic gold at the Asia Badminton Championships in Dubai on Sunday.
“Proud of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty for scripting history by becoming the first Indian Men’s Doubles pair to win the Badminton Asia Championships Title. Congratulations to them and wishing them the very best for their future endeavours,” PM Modi tweeted.
India’s first individual gold medallist, Abhinav Bindra, tweeted: “Congratulations Chirag and Satwik on your incredible win at the Asian Badminton Championships! Your hard work and dedication have paid off, and you have made India proud. Keep up the fantastic performances!”
I congratulate Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy for creating history at the Badminton Asia Championships. They played brilliantly during the whole tournament. The amount of composure they showed, even in the most crunch situations, is applaudable. This is their first medal in the Badminton Asia Championships and I hope they continue their impressive run in the upcoming competitions as well,” said Sanjay Mishra, General Secretary of the Badminton Association of India.
The Indian pair broke a 58-year-old drought, becoming the first Indians after Dinesh Khanna to be crowned champions at the continental championships.
The 2022 World Championships bronze medallists scripted a sensational comeback after an opening game reversal to edge past the Malaysian combination of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in a nail-biting final to accomplish a magnificent victory in the continental championship.
Khanna is the only Indian to claim the gold medal, having achieved the feat when he beat Thailand’s Sangob Rattanusorn in the men’s singles final in 1965 at Lucknow.
India’s previous best performance in men’s doubles at the Asia Championships was a bronze-medal finish by Dipu Ghosh and Raman Ghosh in 1971.
Satwik and Chirag, who claimed the Swiss Open Super 300 title in Basel, showed tremendous grit as they never gave up after losing the first game and being 7-13 and 11-15 in the second and third game to secure the first gold for India in doubles.
It was the second title of the season for Satwik and Chirag, who continued to remain the best shuttlers for the country on display this season.
Besides the Asia Championships title, Satwik and Chirag also won the 2022 Commonwealth Games and five career titles on the BWF World Tour.
The two pairs came into the summit clash after sharing the honours in six meetings, with Satwik and Chirag coming up trumps in the semi-final of the Swiss Open in March this year.
(With inputs from Agencies)