Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty of India won the first-ever BWF World Championships men’s doubles medal after defeating Japan’s world number two pair of Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi in the quarterfinals on Friday. India’s chances of a second medal were dashed when HS Prannoy lost in the men’s singles quarterfinals to China’s Zhao Jun Peng.
The seventh-ranked Indians, who won gold at the Commonwealth Games earlier this month, outplayed the local favorites and defending champions 24-22, 15-21, 21-14 in an hour and 15 minutes to secure their first medal at the BWF World Championships 2022.
It is India’s second World Championships doubles medal; Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won bronze in the women’s doubles in 2011.
Satwik and Chirag, who have already secured a bronze medal, will face the sixth-seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals.
Satwik and Chirag dominated early on to take a 12-5 lead in the first game, but the Japanese pair reeled off seven points in a row to take a 16-14 lead. However, the Indian duo clawed their way back to win the first game.
Takuro and Yugo made a strong comeback in the second game after a close battle ended at 9-9. With the match hanging in the balance, the Indian pair regained their footing, strengthening their defence and mounting an attack to lead 11-5 at the half.
When the Indians were called for a fault for touching the net during a return, Satwik and Chirag increased the lead to 14-8. The duo dropped the point but quickly recovered to lead 16-9. Yugo hit some incredible shots, including a powerful smash and a cross-court return, to keep the Japanese duo’s hopes alive with three points.
The Indians then took seven match points with another outstanding return, which their opponents were unable to negotiate. Satwik was a little nervous on his next serve, but Yugo sent the shuttle to the net, prompting Chirag to celebrate.
Earlier in the day, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila’s impressive run came to an end when they were defeated in the quarterfinals by three-time gold medalists Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan.
The unseeded Indian pair, who had some spectacular wins this week, were defeated in less than 30 minutes by the third-seeded Indonesian pair, 8-21, 14-21. In the second round, the duo defeated Denmark’s eighth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen.
Saina Nehwal’s loss to Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the singles pre-quarterfinals on Thursday ended Indian interest in the women’s events.