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The pressure is there, but we see it positively: Olympic medal candidate Chirag-Satwik from Paris

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pose for photos after winning the Thailand Open Super 500 title, defeating Chinese pair Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi 21-15, 21-15 in Bangkok on Sunday morning, May 19, 2024.

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty pose for photographs after winning the Thailand Open Super 500 title, beating Chinese pair Chen Bo Yang and Liu Yi 21-15, 21-15 in Bangkok on Sunday morning, May 19, 2024. | Image Credit: PTI

The top team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are considered medal contenders for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris and say they are well equipped to handle the pressure of expectations as they are “looking at things positively”.

Looking ahead to the Olympic Games, the duo is aware of the high expectations placed on them.

During a conversation with former Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik on JioCinema’s program ‘Get Set Gold’, Rankireddy emphasised her commitment to “make the country proud”.

“We see it as our responsibility to keep the Indian flag flying high at the Olympics. We will work hard to achieve that,” Rankireddy said.

Shetty doesn’t let the pressure get her down and tries to use it positively to stay focused on her goals.

“The pressure is there, but we see it as a positive thing.”

Rankireddy and Shetty, who won bronze at the 2022 BWF World Championships and gold at the 2022 Asian Games, became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to top the world rankings.

Shetty talked about her Olympic debut in Tokyo 2020 and the surreal feeling of living in the Olympic Village.

“Competing in Tokyo and realizing that we are among the best athletes in the world was an incredible feeling. As I walked through the village, I realized that these top athletes are ordinary people and yet the best in their field.”

Rankireddy revealed his pre-match ritual with Tokyo 2020 javelin gold medalist Neeraj Chopra.

“Neeraj was always there congratulating everyone. I consider him a lucky charm, so before every match I always shook his hand and said, ‘Bhaiya, match hai’.”

Rankireddy also reflected on his parents’ feelings about his achievements at such a young age.

“For them, I am still a child and not an internationally celebrated player. They see me the same as I did ten years ago. They are grateful to God and I owe my path to divine support and my parents.”

Shetty and Rankireddy are currently ranked third in the BWF men’s doubles world rankings and are serious contenders for Paris 2024.

In the last two years, the duo won a gold medal each at the 2022 Asian Games and the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, as well as further awards at the 2022 World Championships, the 2022 Thomas Cup and the 2023 Asian Championships.

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