Four years after being denied the title by England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge at Gold Coast, India’s Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy rallied to win the men’s doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
On Monday, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, the world No. 7 in men’s doubles badminton world rankings, defeated another English pair, Ben Lane and Sean Vendy, 21-15, 21-13 in the final to convert their Gold Coast silver to a gold at Birmingham.
This was India’s first-ever Commonwealth Games medal in men’s doubles badminton.
Heading into the crunch tie at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull, there was little to separate the two teams who were tied at 1-1 in the head-to-head records.
While their first meeting at the Denmark Challenge in 2019 went Venday and Lane’s way, Chirag and Satwik had dispatched the English pair with ease in their most recent meeting at the Tokyo Olympics.
The match in Birmingham got off to an intriguing start with Chirag-Satwik meeting Lane-Vendy’s craft and guile head-on with power and intensity. The momentum kept shifting between the two sides and it was the Indians who took a narrow one-point lead into the break.
After the restart, Chirag Shetty stepped up and took control of the net, which swung the flow in the Indian team’s favour and helped them take the first game with relative ease.
With the cushion, the Indians took a more adventurous approach in the second game but the home team kept grinding it out and didn’t let Chirag-Satwik break away with ease. Vendy’s drop shots in particular caused the Indians a few problems.
The Indians, though, managed to keep their noses ahead and a flurry of points just after the mid-game interval saw Chirag-Satwik go 16-11 up, putting them firmly on the driver’s seat.It was smooth sailing from there on as Chirag and Satwik wrapped up the match fairly easily.