Tokyo Olympics: Satwik excited to be in a tough group | Tokyo Olympics News


HYDERABAD: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are drawn into Group A, the ‘pool of death’ in men’s doubles at the Olympic Games.
However, Satwik, the younger of the two, is unperturbed and eager to play top class teams in the group stage. “I’m very happy with the tough draw. If we cross this stage, we will have a sure medal chance. I will get to play three good matches. In recent times we did not have a chance to play this kind of match on a big stage,” Satwik told TOI.
The shuttler said that pressure would be there on their opponents. “Our opponents are higher ranked players and will be under pressure. Also, they don’t know how we play. After watching us at All England they may be thinking that we are not fit..But the disadvantage for everyone is no one knows how the others play,” he said.
The Indians begin against world No.3 pair of Lee Yang and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei. They will also have to deal with top seeds Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and Marcus Fernaldi Gideon of Indonesia and world No.18 British pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy.
To enter the quarterfinals, the Indians need to win two matches, which many experts think is difficult. But Satwik and Chirag have the experience of beating the best in the world.
The duo is being trained by Danish doubles star Mathias Boe. Satwik said that they have benefited a lot from Boe’s experience.
“Mathias Boe taught us how to play the short game. He tried to teach us real time match experience, how top shuttlers play in big tournaments. For example, if we play a good match today, we can give only 60% tomorrow. But stars give 100% every day. Champions don’t have a bad day. He taught us how to close this gap,” said Satwik, adding that Boe taught them the game plan.
“Boe told us to improve the game plan, develop communication, and how to deal with high serve. Training stint with him was quite helpful,” Satwik added.
Satwik and Chirag are attacking players. “We have a good attack. But in the last few months, we tightened our defense. We learnt how to react to a particular situation,” Satwik said.
Featuring at the Olympics is a dream come true for Satwik. ” It is my dream and my parents’ dream to see me play in the Olympics. When we saw the pictures of Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri from Rio, I thought if I could achieve this one day. I did not expect to play in the Olympics at such a young age. With Olympics in mind I started pairing with Chirag,” Satwik said.




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