The coming Asian Games in China are like a ‘Mini Olympics’, and the competition will be really tough, especially in doubles, according to star shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.
In an informal chat at the unveiling of the trophy for the PNB-Metlife Trophy junior badminton championship to be held in Hyderabad in October, the champion doubles shuttler said the chances of a medal could be 50-50.
“It is never going to be easy. We cannot take anyone lightly. And, I don’t think numbers matter (being World No. 3 along with his partner Chirag Shetty),” he said.
“Definitely, consistency will be the key as we aim to do well in what is also the second Asian Games for us. We don’t want to think too much other than taking it match by match as always to avoid any sort of pressure,” Satwik said.
“The mantra for our success is that results have been really good after we started spending more time together off the court. The chemistry is really good. We speak to each other in a very free and frank manner. There is nothing to talk behind each other. And, we know our job better,” he explained.
“Yes, in some majors like the Commonwealth Games, Worlds, and the Commonwealth Games, we play our hearts out, and it will be no different in the coming Asiad. It is not that we don’t give 100 per cent in other tournaments. But, definitely, there will be more than 100 in these championships,” Satwik said.
For his part, Chirag said that they won the Indonesian Open title after a couple of early round losses in the events preceding that major.
“So, I don’t think we are too concerned about our recent results,” he said.
“Be it right from the day our journey began (he and Satwik as doubles players), we kept things simple. Treat both wins and losses on par. We will be neither really happy after a win nor extremely sad after a loss. Every day is a new day with fresh challenges,” Chirag said.
“Personally, it is a nice feeling to be World No.3 but again as Satwik said, these things don’t matter though we would be definitely happy to be World No.1,” he said.
The duo said they owed a lot to their parents and family members, who they said never put any kind of pressure on them.
“In fact, my mother often tells me not to get disappointed after a loss as the parents of the other players should be praying for their son’s success,” Chirag said with a big smile.
Hyderabad to host junior badminton championship
The Hyderabad leg of the seventh PNB Metlife junior badminton championship will be held from October 19.
The championship, to be held across India, began in Guwahati on Friday, and would feature competitions in five different categories each for boys and girls.
“We believe in nurturing young talent which I am sure would be inspired by our mentors and champion doubles shuttlers R. Satwiksairaj and Chirag Shetty’s achievements,” Ashish Kumar Srivastava, MD and CEO of PNB Metlife said.
“Last year, we created a world record in terms of participation of young kids in the Nation-wide series. We have also started an online boot camp for kids to get insights into training,” Ashish said.
“We take pride in having many like the legend Prakash Padukone, P.V. Sindhu, Chetan Anand among others as our mentors and hope we help India in producing champion shuttlers,” he added.
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