Emerging Indian shuttler Sathish Kumar Karunakaran etched his name in the badminton circuit as he clinched his maiden BWF Tour title at the recently concluded Odisha Masters Super 100, held in Cuttack. Sathish beat Ayush Shetty 21-18, 19-21, 21-14 in the final.
Speaking after the win, Sathish expressed his happiness on clinching the title. “It is always special to win your first BWF Tour title. I have had a good year and finishing the year with a title makes it even more special. I would like to thank my coach, Ajit sir for his constant support and for making me improve my game every day. I am much more confident about my game,” he said.
Coming into this tournament, Sathish had a good season. He won two International Challenge titles in a row in Raipur and Bengaluru. He also made a runner-up finish at the Maldives International Series.
Born in Chennai, the 22-year-old Sathish had started doing well in the junior circuit, winning a bronze medal at the Junior Korea Open and the Junior national championships in 2019 in Bangalore. He was also part of the Indian team at the 2019 World Junior Championships as well as the Asian Championships.
Sathish sharpened his skills and techniques under the guidance of former Indian international Ajit Wijetilekk. Unlike his contemporaries, Sathish chose to improve his game at more domestic level tournaments rather than the junior international stage.
In 2021, Sathish reached his first final of an international tournament at Ukraine International, where he finished as runners-up. He then went on to win his first international title in 2022 in Cameroon.
After the final which lasted more than an hour, Sathish clinched the win against Ayush Shetty, a bronze medalist at the World Junior Championships in 2023. This win serves as a testament to the growth Sathish has made in the last couple of years. Putting in such efforts he has catapulted his world ranking from 508 to 51.