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Chirag-Satwik win but miss out on badminton knock-outs

Source: PTI
Last updated on: July 27, 2021 13:32 IST
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All three teams finished the group stage level on points after two wins each, but when the number of games won was considered to identify the qualifiers, the Indians lost out.

India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty during their Olympics men's doubles group match against Britain's Ben Lane of Britain and Sean Vendy, at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo, on Tuesday

IMAGE: India's Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, left, during their Olympics men's doubles group match against Britain's Ben Lane of Britain and Sean Vendy, at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, Tokyo, on Tuesday. Photograph: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy emerged victorious over the England pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in their final Group A match but still missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals in the men’s doubles badminton at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

 

Ranked 10th in the world, the Indians beat world No 18 team 21-17, 21-19 in 44 minutes, at the Musashino Forest Plaza.

However, they couldn't make it to the knock-out stage as they finished third in Group A, behind the top-ranked Indonesian team of Marcus Gideon Fernaldi and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo and world No. 3 Yang Lee and Chi-Lin Wang of Chinese Taipei.

All three teams finished with the same number of points after two wins each, but when the number of games won was considered to identify the qualifiers, the Indians lost out.

Chirag and Satwik's straight game loss to the Indonesians on Monday cost them dear.

Moments before the Indian pair stepped on the court, Lee and Wang had completed a three-game win over Sukamuljo and Gideon in the preceding group match, rendering the result of India's contest against Britain inconsequential.

Only the top two pairs of each group advance to the quarter-finals.

In the London Olympics, Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta too endured similar fate when they bowed out when the points won and lost were considered after they tied with the other two pairs in the group stage.

On Tuesday, the Indian duo looked in good rhythm. They opened up a narrow 5-3 lead but the English pair soon moved ahead and was 11-10 at the break.

Chirag and Satwik slowly started to dominate the proceedings and eventually grabbed the opening game when Lane hit wide.

They again took a 6-3 lead in the second game and ensured a two-point advantage at the interval. They extended it to 16-13, riding on errors of their opponents.

The English pair scripted a mini comeback, drawing parity at 18 and also took the lead after Satwik netted a return of serve.

The Indians, however, were alert as they grabbed match-point and converted it easily to end their campaign on a high.

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