India shuttlers Satwiksairaj-Chirag start Olympic preparations

Despite the uncertainty regarding the Games schedule, Satwik and Chirag have decided to train with the same intensity as they have been doing this for the last three months.

Satwik and Chirag have decided to train with the same intensity as they have been doing this for the last three months.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India’s leading doubles shuttler R. Satwiksairaj is back for training on Tuesday with his partner Chirag Shetty, after a week-long break, as part of the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics later this year.

“Our biggest and immediate target is to win an Olympics medal now. And, we are really working hard to realise this goal,” he says.

Despite the uncertainty regarding the Games schedule, Satwik and Chirag have decided to train with the same intensity as they have been doing this for the last three months under the guidance of doubles coach Mathias Boe.

“We have had the best of training after a long time with no breaks and thanks to Boe’s emphasis on the importance of scoring points with strong defence and nost just with an attacking game, we feel are much better players now,” says Satwik in a chat with Sportstar.

“Frankly, we have had terrific training sessions under Boe which were so different from the Asians and also of a very high quality. In simulated match conditions, he is ensuring that we are equal to the task,” says the 20-year-old Satwik.

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“It would have been great if we were to play in at least one of the three Super Series which were cancelled because of the pandemic to test our skills and how far we are good in adapting the new techniques being taught by Boe,” he explains.

“Well, we want to avoid the kind of confusion we have had in the European circuit including the Swiss and the All England championship where we were in a dilemma whether to adapt the new strategy or not and were a confused lot in the crucial phases of the matches,” he reveals.

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“It takes time to get used to it and this is where the last three months training is so helpful to us,” the 2018 Commonwealth Games mixed doubles gold medallist says gently reminding that the sessions with sports psychologist Divya Jain have been useful.

“Glad that we made it to the Olympics before the second wave of the pandemic disrupted the BWF calendar. But, I feel sorry for those who could have made the cut even if only they had taken part in one of the three Majors which were cancelled."

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