India’s premier men’s doubles shuttler, R. Satwiksairaj, believes that the national team can pull off a repeat performance of what they have done in the prestigious Thomas Cup (recording a historic title triumph) when they enter the Commonwealth Games from July 28.
“Now, we know the art of winning team events much better. And, that Thomas Cup win was proof of that. The preparations were really good, and the mood is upbeat,” Satwik informed ‘Sportstar’ after the last training session at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here.
“Yes, personally, we (he and his partner Chirag Shetty) want to change the colour of the medal in men’s doubles (silver last time),” he said.
“Honestly, Chirag is a different player. Earlier, mostly, I used to control the game. Now, he has gone to the next level with great consistency and quality,” the 21-year-old Satwik said.
“We are all excited and keen to defend the team title (mixed team event). We have the quality and depth in the team which can take on the best,” Satwik said.
“Yes, there were some innovations to ensure that we are mentally and physically fit for the challenge ahead. For instance, I used to have two ‘matches’ during the day’s rain; it was one before the Games. I must say the credit goes to Mathias Boe (doubles coach) for his smart planning, which ensured the training sessions were short and had quality,” the champion shuttler, who with Chirag Shetty is ranked World No. 8.
“I believe this Indian team is a force to reckon with, and everyone is a world-class player and importantly all of them in the recent past,” he said.
“I am eager to meet some of the greatest athletes who assemble at the Games. It is such an inspiration to mingle with such athletes. And, my elder brother’s family from the US will be there to cheer us on,” he signed off.