The Indian men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy settled for the bronze medal after going down in the semi-finals of the BWF World Championships 2022 against Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in Tokyo, Japan, on Saturday.
This was India’s 13th world badminton championships medal but the first in men’s doubles. The loss against the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists also ended India’s campaign at this year’s championships.
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, seventh in the badminton world rankings, took the first game but could not sustain the pressure on the world No. 6 pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik to go down 22-20, 18-21, 16-21 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
The Indian duo began strongly and went into the first break with a five-point advantage but the sprightly Malaysian pair grew in confidence as the match progressed.
Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik were solid in defence and levelled the game at 16-all. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy with better play at the net survived the comeback to win the first game.
The second game saw both pairs struggling to build momentum before the interval. Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik, with four consecutive points after the break, got the much-needed cushion and then stretched the match into the decider.
Both pairs continued to engage in long rallies in the third game. Trailing 16-15, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy conceded five of the next six points to go down in the semi-finals in 77 minutes.
This was the sixth loss for the Indian pair against Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in as many matches. Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy had also lost to the Malaysians in the mixed team badminton final at the Commonwealth Games earlier in the month.
Earlier at the badminton world championships, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy beat reigning world champions Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in the quarter-finals.
In the men’s singles, HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth fell short of winning medals. Saina Nehwal, India’s best hope in women’s singles in the absence of PV Sindhu, too could not progress past the round of 16.
The Indian badminton players will next be seen in action at the Japan Open BWF Super 750 event in Osaka starting next week.