It was double delight for India’s premier men’s doubles shuttlers R. Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty when they broke into the top 10 world rankings — for the second time in their career — and clinched a deal with IOS Sports Management.
The firm will manage their commercial interests.
Fresh from their maiden final appearance in the BWF French Open last week, Satwik and Chirag could not have asked for more as they chase their “ultimate goal to win an Olympic medal”.
The 19-year-old Satwik says this time it is special to be in top 10 as they came back from injuries. “The confidence is high. The best part with Chirag is he never shows any negative vibes in any situation. All that we need to do is to stay focused and be consistent. The biggest challenge is to stay fit till Tokyo Olympics.
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“We need to be equally good both in attack and defence to raise the bar under pressure,” he reasons.
“We know we have the game and if we continue to work on cutting down the negatives, the results will be even better,” says Satwik adding, “it was disappointing to miss the last World Championship because of an injury. But, thanks to the wonderful job by the support staff we are back in the league and doing well.”
Satwik-Chirag is the first Indian pair to win a BWF Super Series 500 event when they clinched the Thailand Open earlier this year.
The training programme at Gopichand Badminton Academy helped them achieve their goals, and the signing of the deal is a step up. “Credit goes to Chirag for doing all the talking with them and also we badly needed something like this,” he adds.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand reminds that it was former doubles coach Tan Kim Her who formed the Satwik-Chirag pair. “Their range of strokes is amazing and they are very young and willing to put in that extra effort. All that we are looking for is they should stay injury-free as they chase their biggest dream to win an Olympic medal in Tokyo next year,” he says.