May 3, 2023: Who are the winners? What does this victory mean? Here's how things went their way, making history possible!
The star doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the Asia badminton championships in Dubai on April 30 to end a 58-year drought and become the first Indians to accomplish it since Dinesh Khanna.
In the men's doubles competition at the 1971 Asia Championships, Dipu Ghosh and Raman Ghosh finished with the bronze medal. Khanna is the only Indian to have won the gold medal, and he did it in 1965 at Lucknow when he defeated Thailand's Sangob Rattanusorn in the men's singles final.
The Malaysian team of Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi was defeated in a thrilling final.
Satwik and Chirag, who won the Swiss Open Super 300 championship in Basel, showed incredible determination by battling despite losing the opening game and falling behind 7-13 and 11-15 in the second and third games to win India's first doubles gold.
Satwik and Chirag, who have consistently been the greatest shuttlers for their country this season, won their second championship of the year.
Along with winning the 2022 Commonwealth Games and five career titles on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour, Satwik and Chirag also won the Asia Championships.
The two teams entered the summit match-up having split the victories in six meetings, with Satwik and Chirag winning in the Swiss Open semi-final in March of this year.
While Ong and Teo were unbreakable in their defence, Satwik, 22, from Amalapuram, and Chirag, 25, from Mumbai, were constant in their attack, sending down the shuttle at stiff angles and at a good speed.
As the opening game started equally, there wasn't much separating the two pairs.
The two teams battled back and forth from 1-1 to 10-10 before Chirag's impulsive effort at the goal gave the Malaysians a one-point lead at halftime.
The Malaysian team immediately pulled out a commanding five-point lead at 18-13 after racking up a string of points. When Satwik went long, Ong and Teo scored six game points, ending the run that Chirag had started.
Before the Malaysians won an exciting rally in which Teo dived twice to keep the shuttle in play and claim the victory, the Indians made two saves.
Ong and Teo continued their strong run after the end change, quickly climbing to 6-2 and then 10-4. The Malaysians were tireless in their approach, and since Satwik and Chirag were unable to compete with their opponents, the Malaysians led 11-6 at the half.
The Indian pair sparked a comeback after Ong and Tea had a five-point lead at 13-8. As soon as the tables flipped, Satwik produced a backhand kill, followed by a net fault from Teo, who also sent the shuttler away.
As mistakes began to creep into the Malaysians' game, the Indians were up 18-15. With Teo making a mistake at the goal, Satwik and Chirag scored three game points and converted them on their first opportunity.
The two partners traded blows at the beginning of the decision. Ong and Teo displayed excellent technical skills as they gradually built an eight-point lead.
The Malaysians took an 11-8 lead into halftime after Chirag sprayed his smash into the goal and added another.
The opposition used force and produced a couple of body blows to gain a 14-10 advantage.
When Chirag dominated a quick exchange and then leveled the score for the Indians, the margin was reduced to 14–15. Ong made a net mistake, which gave Satwik and Chirag a 17-16 lead.
When the Indians' lead reached 18-16, Ong missed a shot. Chirag made a precise return after a superb recovery by the Malaysians, making the score 19-17 in India's favour.