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Grit and determination are the two virtues that perfectly define a sportsman. But we often forget another quality that makes a tremendous difference, coordination. Playing alone and giving your best is easier than playing with a partner and ensuring that you both give your best. The quality of lifting others along with yourself is what sets champions apart. Today, we are discovering myriad aspects of one such champion. Satwik is still very young and has a really long way to go. However, even before he turned an adult, he has immense maturity and humility. His team members and partners have always had kind words for this lad. Whether playing for India or in the Premier Badminton League, he has always given his very best and outclassed some of the best in the field. We are talking about the emerging badminton champ, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy!
About Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
|August 13, 2000
|Place of Birth
|Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India
|6 ft 0 in (184 cm)
|77 kg (170 lbs)
|3 (in Men’s Doubles) in 2023
|3 (Men’s Doubles)- June 2023
|Gold medal at 2018 Commonwealth Games, Bronze medal at 2018 Asian Games, Winner of several BWF Super Series and Super 500 tournaments, Bronze in Tokyo Olympics, Gold in Thomas Cup, Gold in CWG 2022, Gold in Asian Championship 2023
|Chirag Shetty (Men’s Doubles), Ashwini Ponnappa (Mixed Doubles)
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy Badminton Journey
Satwik’s father is a former state-level badminton player himself and his elder brother is also a badminton player. It isn’t surprising then that Satwik decided to pursue the game.
His family has not only supported, but also encouraged his ambitions. He decided the train under the legend himself. In 2014, he joined the Pullela Gopichand Academy. Gopichand, the legendary badminton player himself, has shaped the careers of the best in Indian badminton. Training under him was the best thing that could have happened for Satwik. Satwik decided to train as a doubles specialist and that turned out to be an excellent decision for him.
Rise of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
In an interview with the Scroll, Satwik explained how he developed his attacking style and how playing doubles are far more difficult than what most people think.
“There weren’t enough courts and there were 30-40 members, so we used to play only doubles on the courts. That’s why my strokes are all doubles strokes. I used to only smash, smash, smash”, he said.
Satwik also added,
“It is tougher to play doubles because there needs to be a good understanding between partners, good communication, and the right mindset.”
“In singles, you play alone, but in doubles, if your partner is not feeling good you will lose the match. Doubles is also a faster game and you need to play more rallies, more smashes. You need more brains and it’s a mind-game,” he added.
Sathwik sure has got both, brains and the brawl! His mindset is going to take him to places.
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty
Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have become the dynamic duo of Indian badminton. Their pairing has turned out to be one of the most successful pairings in recent times. It wasn’t easy though.
Coming from diverse backgrounds, they took quite some time to actually get along. However, once they did, there’s no stopping them. Malaysian coach Tan Kim Her played a crucial role in bringing the pair together. In an interview with the Scroll, Satwik shared his thoughts on the same.
Rankireddy said, “We also started staying in one room. Earlier we used to stay in different rooms. I used to go out with Telugu people a lot. Then I didn’t like to go out with North Indian guys. He used to eat everything, I used to eat only Indian food. So I used to go alone.”
He added, “Tan, our coach said that in Malaysia they do it this way. It is like the doubles players are like in a marriage.”
The coach has high expectations from her prodigies. “This year Satwik-Chirag pair made a breakthrough by reaching quarters. Next year they should play semifinals and in 2019 they should play finals. If there is no injury, Satwik-Chirag will win a medal in the 2020 Olympics,” Kim told the Times of India after their stunning performance in the Superseries circuit.
In March 2018, the pair broke into the top 20 for the first time in their career. Tan’s arrival has definitely helped Satwiksairaj and the entire doubles team. Their technique has developed by leaps and bounds. In 2023, Satwik-Chirag achieve career-best ranking of 3 in the world.
Satwiksairaj first came into the limelight when he won the Tata Open India Challenge with Chirag. The pair went on to outclass former Olympic champion Markis Kido and his partner Hendra Gunawan to win the Vietnam Open International Challenge. This victory made them badminton sensations of India. Later, they qualified for the Glasgow World Championship.
Their performances at the Korea Open and the French Open were very commendable. They could reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.
Satwiksairaj in Commonwealth Games
India has produced numerous badminton legends. It is surprising then that we don’t have many team medals in the Commonwealth Games. At the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Indian badminton team won the gold at the mixed event. Satwiksairaj, with partner Ashwini Ponappa, smashed excellent shots to beat Malaysian opponents, Peng Soon Chang and Liu Ying Goh.
Satwik added another medal to his tally. He defeated, along with Chirag, Sri Lanka’s Buwaneka Goonethilleka to enter the finals of the men’s doubles event. The pair became the first Indians to do so. Unfortunately, they lost out to Ellis and Langridge from England in the finals. They had to settle with the silver eventually.
In 2022, Satwik and Chirag bagged the men’s doubles gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, beating the home pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in the final.
Satwiksairaj Interesting Facts
- Satwik’s long-time dream is to own a luxury high-end car.
- Satwik wasn’t very excited to partner with Chirag Shetty initially. He used to play with Krishna Prasad, but Coach Tan changed their pairing. However, the reluctance soon turned into enthusiasm as the duo discovered how similar their playing styles are.
Satwik has just turned 22 and has many more years to shape his career and reach heights. With his attacking mindset and cooperative stance, he is perhaps the best doubles player in the country. His sole focus on doubles has uplifted his game to tremendous heights. It will be very interesting to see his future progress.
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BWF World Championships
|Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium,
| Aaron Chia
Soh Wooi Yik
|22–20, 18–21, 16–21
|Sheikh Rashid Bin Hamdan Indoor Hall,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
|Ong Yew Sin
Teo Ee Yi
|16–21, 21–17, 21–19
|Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre,
Gold Coast, Australia
|National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England
| Ben Lane
BWF World Tour
|Akbar Bintang Cahyono
Moh Reza Pahlevi Isfahani
|Syed Modi International
Muhammad Rian Ardianto
|21–19, 18–21, 21–18
|Marcus Fernaldi Gideon
Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo
| Lu Ching-yao
| Ren Xiangyu
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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is a prominent Indian badminton player known for his expertise in doubles events. He is widely recognized as one of the finest doubles players globally, and his career has been marked by numerous noteworthy accomplishments.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy was born on August 13, 2000.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy is from Amalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Satwik’s primary doubles partner is Chirag Shetty, with whom he has achieved much success.