Will take time to believe we are Asian champions, says Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty made history by becoming the first Indian pair to win a doubles gold at the Badminton Asian Championships here on Sunday. The duo, who won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships, ended a 58-year wait by winning the continental championships.

The last time an Indian achieved this feat was Dinesh Khanna in 1965. In a thrilling final, Satwik and Chirag defeated the Malaysian team of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi 16-21, 21-17, 21-19 to claim a great triumph in the continental title.

"Personally for me, it will take a lot of time to believe that we are the Asian champions," Satwik said during the press-conference. "I still don't believe we are Thomas Cup champions. It's our dream to win for India and make the flag fly high. Good boost for us as we go into the Olympic qualification period."

Satwik and Chirag shown incredible tenacity by persevering despite losing the opening game and behind 7-13 and 11-15 in the second and third games to win India's first doubles gold medal. "I think today we didn’t play, the crowd played with us. It was a bad start in the first half of the second game, but we didn’t give up," he said.

"We kept our nerves, we know how to play these situations. So, we were waiting for the good rhythm and then take our chances. We were calmer in the second and third games. It felt like playing in Hyderabad. The crowd was amazing."

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