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Shuttlers Chirag-Satwiksairaj go down fighting to Malaysian pair; settle for bronze

Tokyo: The Indian badminton men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy went down fighting to world No. 6 Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik of Malaysia 22-20, 18-21, 16-21 in the semifinal of the BWF World Championships 2022 to settle for bronze at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday.

The loss of the young pair against the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallists also ended India’s campaign at this year’s championships.

The Malaysian duo will face the Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in the final on Sunday.

This was India’s 13th World Badminton Championships medal and the first in men’s doubles.

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, ranked seventh in the world, gave a gritty display to take the first game but could not keep up the pressure on their Malaysian counterparts thereon.

The Indian pair was leading by five points going into the first break but the nimble Malaysian duo grew in confidence as the match progressed. The Malaysians’ solid defence saw them level the game at 16-all. But Chirag and Satwiksairaj survived the opening game largely because of their compact net play.

The second game saw the Malaysian pair take four successive points after the break, which gave them enough cushion to thwart the Indians’ charge and stretched the match into the decider.

The third game was all about long rallies. The Indian duo was in the match till 15-16, but they conceded five of the next six points to go down in the 77-minute contest.

This was Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik’s sixth victory against the Indian pair in as many outings.

Earlier in the quarterfinal, Chirag and Satwiksairaj had defeated reigning world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi to assure themselves of a medal.


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