Star Indian shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty on Thursday pulled out of their men's doubles title defence at next week's Badminton Asia Championships with the former recuperating from a shoulder injury. Last April, Satwik and Chirag, currently ranked world number one, had made history by breaking a 58-year-old drought as they became the first Indians after Dinesh Khanna to be crowned champions at the Asia Badminton Championships in Dubai. Dinesh Khanna had achieved the rare feat of winning gold in 1965.

However, Satwik and Chirag, who have been in rollicking form this season, having won the French Open Super 750 and finishing runner-up in two finals, on Thursday decided to opt out of the tournament. "It is not a new injury, it is something which happens due to overuse of shoulder and Satwik is already on road to recovery. They are still training but the intensity is little less. So, looking at the bigger picture, they decided to withdraw," a source in the know of things told PTI on conditions of anonymity. "They have been consistently playing the finals and in a way they are lucky that it didn't crop up during major events. So it is a good time to address the issue. They are elite

athletes and need to choose events wisely, they shouldn't rush things."

It is a recurrent injury as Satwik has been troubled by his right shoulder in the past but he had recovered from it as he and Chirag went on to win laurels for the country. But following the European leg this season, it seemed to have flared up a bit. Satwik and Chirag are currently into their 10th week as world number one, surpassing Saina Nehwal's record of nine successive weeks at the top of BWF rankings. The crack pair had a stellar season in the last two years, winning the 2022 world championships bronze, 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medal, 2023 Asia championships gold, the 2023 Asian Games gold medal, 2022 Thomas Cup winners, 2023 Indonesia Super 1000 champions and 2023 Korea Open winners.

The duo has been named in India's strong Thomas Cup team which will look to defend their title in China from April 27. "Thomas Cup remains an important event and they will be back for the prestigious tournament as we are the defending championships," the source said. The withdrawal of the top pair means HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and PV Sindhu will now lead India's charge at the prestigious tournament.
No Comments For This Post, Be first to write a Comment.
Leave a Comment
Enter the code shown:

Can't read the image? click here to refresh

Todays Epaper

English Weekly

neerus indian ethnic wear
Latest Urdu News

Which cricket team will win the IPL 2024?

Rajasthan Royals
Kolkata Knight Riders
Lucknow Super Giants