Updated: Sat, 27 Aug 2022 10:59 AM IST
India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to settle for a bronze medal at the BWF World Championships 2022 after they lost the men's doubles semi-final against Malaysia's Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik 22-20, 18-21, and 16-21 on Saturday at Tokyo in Japan. This was the duo's sixth consecutive defeat against the Malaysian pair for Satwik and Chirag. Earlier, they had lost the mixed team final of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) to the same combination.
However, despite the loss, it was a creditable show by the young Indian pair as it ensured India continued to return with a medal from the World Championships since 2011, the year the country won its first doubles medal with Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa returning with a bronze.
The duo, who had suffered the disappointment of losing in the group stage at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after winning two of their three matches, has also given India its 13th medal at the prestigious event.
The Indian duo was off to a good start. The first game was a closely contested one with fast-paced action. Chirag and Satwik prevailed in the first game by 22-20.
However, the Malaysian opponents made a comeback in the second game and won it by 18-21 to set up an exciting decider game. Though Chirag and Satwik played well, they just could not match the stroke play and speed of their opponents.
Chia and Yik kept their composure and had an advantage over the Indians in the final game. Though Chirag and Satwik kept fighting back one point at a time, any hopes of victory were done away with as their opponents quickly clinched the required final few points to win the game 16-21.
This match lasted for an hour and 17 minutes.
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) congratulated the duo on Twitter and said: "Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty end their BWF World Championships2022 campaign with a historic bronze medal. This is the result of their perseverance, determination and sheer passion. Congratulations boys."
"First MD (men's doubles) pair to secure a BWF World Championships medal; Only 2nd World Championships medal from India's doubles pair; 13th medal for India at Worlds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty script history yet again at BWF World Championships 2022," it tweeted earlier.
The two have been in sublime form this year, having started the season by winning the India Open. They reached the All England quarterfinals, played a key role in India winning the historic Thomas Cup gold and finally cornering Commonwealth Games glory.
(With inputs from ANI)