Indian hopes dashed as Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty withdraw entry from World Championships
The disappointment is palpable in the Indian camp. The recently crowned Thailand Open champions have pulled out of the World Championships with injury concerns.
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty shocked the world a couple of weeks ago when they lifted the trophy at a Super Series 500 tournament, which featured 9 of the top 10 men's doubles pairs in the world. Not only did they beat top seeded pairs en route to the final, they demolished China's best doubles pair in the final, something even the most ardent Indian badminton fan, only dared to dream. However, the tournament took a lot out of the young pair who have wisely decided to skip the upcoming tournament.
The most sought after tournament of the year is scheduled to begin on Monday at the St. Jakobshalle arena in Basel, Switzerland. The withdrawal of India's talented young pair from the tournament, mounts pressure on Sindhu, who is realistically India's only hope for a medal.
Shetty told PTI, "Satwik's shoulder injury which he suffered at Thailand Open didn't heal as quickly as we expected, and I also had pulled up my abs during the semifinals, so we decided to skip the World Championship."
"We spoke to the coaches and physio and they said if we play then it can aggravate and we might miss out a month or two. So being the pre-olympic year, we decided not to take any risk.
"We will be playing the China Open and Korea Open in September."
Smart thinking, one would say, considering the World Championships is a yearly event, while the Olympics takes place once in four years. But, the excitement kindling, championship winning, dream fulfilling, top-seed slaying, Indian pairing will certainly be missed by the millions of India badminton fans who have their eyes set on next week's World Championships.