Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won India's third straight gold medal in badminton on Monday at the 2022 Commonwealth Games at Birmingham, capping off the campaign with a win in men's doubles. They join PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen as gold medallists, with two more bronze and a mixed team silver.
The second-seeded Indians played a composed and commanding game to beat local favourites Ben Lane and Sean Vendy - who had stunned Malaysian top seeds Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals - 21-15, 21-13. This is their first gold and second CWG medal in doubles, after winning the silver medal at the 2018 Games. They also won the silver in the mixed team last week, losing the doubles to the Malaysian pair who lost to the Englishmen.
Rankireddy and Shetty looked to be in no trouble as they sailed throughout the match, forcing errors and winning swift points. In both games, the first half was neck-to-neck before they took a lead at the interval and raced away. A crisp and clean match, capitalising on the chances they had and letting the emotion show only at the end.
In the first game, Indian levelled it at 10-10 and went into the break with a one-point lead after Shetty's shot, left alone by Vendy, landed in. The Indians then built a three-point lead and kept up the aggression, extending it to five points, forcing the errors from the Englishmen. It was India all the way after that. A deft touch from Shetty brought up game point and they converted it with ease.
The second game was closer at the beginning, but once again it was the Indians who went into the interval with a 11-10 lead. The second half followed more of the same pattern, with Indians piling on the swift points and the home favourites not making much headway.