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Teenage Indian shuttlers Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinch the Vietnam International title

976   //    26 Mar 2017, 14:22 IST
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy Chirag Shetty
Another promising duo in the ever growing Indian badminton scene

It turned out to be a Super Sunday for Indian badminton as the teen men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched the title at the $20,000 Yonex Sunrise Vietnam International Challenge in Hanoi, Vietnam. The sixth seeds lost the opening game but staged a fantastic fightback to win the next two games for a 17-21, 21-9, 21-15 victory over the fifth-seeded Thai pair of Trawut Potieng and Nanthakam Yordphaisong in a thrilling 50-minute battle.

This is the first title for the young team this year and their fifth triumph together overall. Last year, the 16-year-old Rankireddy and the 19-year-old Shetty joined forces and immediately found success in their breakthrough season. 

They reigned supreme at the Mauritius International Series, the India International Series, the India International Challenge and the Bangladesh International Challenge in 2016 that catapulted them to within the top 70 of the world rankings. This year, even though they reached a career-high 56th, and are currently placed at 59th, they did not have the best of starts to the new season.

The youngsters suffered early exits at the two Grand Prix Gold tournaments they played in – the Malaysia Masters and the Syed Modi International – despite putting up a gritty fight.

It was at the Vietnam International this week where they found their winning touch again. Their toughest challenge came in the semi-finals where they faced the second seeds Markis Kido and Hendra Aprida Gunawan. With Kido being an ex-World No. 1 and Gunawan being a former top 5 player, the Indonesians were to be quite a threat.

They did begin the match in a commanding fashion and grabbed the opener, 21-16. But that could not deter their teenaged rivals, who stormed back for a 16-21, 21-11, 21-18 win.

Rankireddy and Shetty showed that same fighting spirit in the summit clash too for the comeback win.

Indian campaign ends at Polish Open

While the Indian shuttlers delivered a title at the Vietnam International, the campaign ended without any success for the Indians playing at the Polish Open in Warsaw this week. The third-seeded women’s doubles pair of Sanjana Santosh and Arathi Sara Sunil were the last Indians standing and they bowed out in the semi-finals.

After being outplayed by the unseeded Chinese Taipei combine of Hsin Tien Chang and Chien Hui Yu, the Indians fought hard in the second game but it was still not enough as they went down 9-21, 21-23 in 41 minutes.

A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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