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18 Aug, 2020
India’s ace doubles badminton duo, Satwik Sairaj & Chirag Shetty were both nominated for the Arjuna Award by the Sport Ministry’s selection committee. And this comes as a huge morale booster before the Tokyo Olympics next week according to the sensational Satwik, who’s currently in his hometown of Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh.
“It is a belated birthday gift for me,” says the elated doubles specialist, who celebrated his 20th birthday a few days ago.
2019 was a bit of a rollercoaster for the celebrated Indian duo, as Satwik battled a few niggles that kept him out of the reckoning for a while but then stormed in to take the Thailand Open Super 500 Championship, while defeating reigning world champions Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen. This made the them India's first men's doubles badminton team to win a Super Series title.
During the course of the year they also managed to reach the finals of the French Open.
Satwik said that the recognition in the form of the Arjuna Award certainly boosts the morale to do even better for the country in the next year’s Tokyo Olympics, postponed from this year due to the Corona Virus pandemic.
“After the disappointment of the 2020 Olympics being postponed, this is real good news. Now, we will work much harder and realise the ultimate goal of winning a medal in the next edition,” said Satwik.
Ringing in the celebrations with his parents back in his hometown, Satwik dedicated the award to them as well as his coach and fellow players at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy, where he trains.
“I dedicate this Award to my parents, Viswanatham and Rangamani, chief national coach Gopichand [Pullela] sir and all the support staff and fellow players at Gopi Academy for all the support,” said Satwik.
Chirag Shetty also dedicated his award to his parents, and added, “t is great to be recognized by the whole country and certainly make us dream big and chase the Olympics medal.”
Satwik Sairaj & Chirag Shetty are currently ranked number 10 in the world and over the years have forged a formidable partnership together. They complement each other very well, have an easy, fun attitude towards life and don’t ponder too much on the mistakes that are inevitable on the court.
They’ve come a long way over the past few years and have a solid relationship even off the court. And thus, amongst all the titles they’ve won together this one ought to be rather special for this deadly doubles’ combination.
So, ring in the Olympics, shall we?