The star Indian men’s doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty secured the number one spot in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Rankings on Tuesday, becoming the first duo from the country to reach the landmark. Following their gold medal win at the men’s doubles competition at the recently concluded Asian Games in Hangzhou, ‘Sat-Chi’, as the duo is known to fans, made a jump of two spots to achieve the top spot. After Prakash Padukone, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth, they are the fourth Indians to achieve the top ranking.
“India’s top men’s doubles pair Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty jumped up two spots to achieve their best-ever career-high rank of World No. 1 in the latest BWF World Rankings on Tuesday. They are the first Indian duo and fourth Indians after legendary Prakash Padukone, Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth to achieve this feat,” said a statement from Badminton Association of India (BAI) Media.
On of the !
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) October 10, 2023
At Hangzhou, they defeated South Korea’s Choi Sol-Gyu and Kim Won-ho 21-18, 21-16 in a gold medal match, winning the country’s first-ever gold in badminton at the continental meet.
They were also the part of men’s team which won a silver, helping India win its first-ever medal in badminton team events in Asian Games history. Overall, they have been on a purple patch since 2022.
Since 2022, the duo has won five BWF World Tour titles. It started with an Indian Open title win in January 2022 in which they defeated Indonesia’s Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-16, 26-24. They followed it with the French Open later that year.
In 2023, they won the Swiss Open, Indonesia Open and Korea Open. The Indonesia Open title win was special as they defeated the second-seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh 21-17, 21-18 to claim India’s first-ever BWF Super 1000 World Tour title in the final. Chia and Soh were world champions.
They were also part of a historic Thomas Cup win for India. The world’s top men’s team championship held since 1949 saw India capture the trophy for the first time. India defeated Indonesia, the most successful team in tournament history with 14 titles in the final 3-0.
Satwiksairaj and Chirag brought home Commonwealth Games gold in the men’s doubles category at Birmingham last year, beating the local pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vardy in two games straight. They were also part of the mixed team competition in which they won silver.
Just days after their heroics in Birmingham at CWG, the duo captured a bronze medal at the World Championships in Dubai. They captured a bronze medal at the World Championships in Dubai. They became India’s first-ever men’s doubles medalist at the event.
‘Sat-Chi’, as the duo is popularly known, captured the Asian Championships gold, defeating Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi in the final 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 in April this year. They became the first men’s doubles pair to win gold at the event.
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