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Satwik-Chirag to pick and choose events before Paris Olympics | Badminton News – Times of India


BENGALURU: It has been a defining year for the Indian men’s doubles badminton pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty. Besides being ranked as world number one for a while, they won three BWF titles and gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games.
The Khel Ratna award – India’s highest sporting honour – came as a icing on the cake. But the hungry duo, who represented IOCL in the PSPB Inter-Unit Team Championship here, has set higher goals.
While the Paris Olympics remains their primary goal, the pair has set its sights on the All England Open in March. A good display in the Super 1000 event could set the tone for the quadrennial event in July-August.
“2023 has been a great year for us, but it is important to keep ourselves fresh and fit. Going into 2024, the Olympics is the biggest target for us. That said, there are other competitions which we have not won yet, like the All England. Hopefully 2024 will be another great year,” said the 26-year-old Chirag.
The Andhra-Mumbai duo, however, are in a commanding position in the Race to Paris rankings. Currently, placed second, they are almost guaranteed a slot, which gives them the opportunity of picking and choosing tournaments they would like to play before the Olympic qualification cycle ends on April 28. This in turn can help them remain fresh in the run-up to the Olympics.
“Our main aim is to give our best in the competitions that we decide to compete in and ensure that we do not play a lot of tournaments. We want to decide on the events accordingly. We do not want to play 3-4 back-to-back tournaments,” pointed out Chirag.
Having climbed the ranking charts with consistent performances for the last couple of years, expectations from the duo are high, leading to added pressure. Considering their form, the duo is one of India’s best bets for the elusive Olympic gold — a medal which India has never won in badminton.
Satwik opened up on the tough nature of the Olympics with all competing pairs having it in them to shine.
“Olympics are different compared to other tournaments. It is not easy. The feeling is also different compared to tournaments like the Super Series. At the Olympics, there are no favourites. It is about 16 top pairs, and every team will give it its all. There will be no easy matches, it is going to be tough,” pointed out Satwik.


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