I Learned The Smash From Volleyball, Says Indian Shuttler Satwiksairaj Rankireddy

(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, June 17 (IANS) Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, the bronze medallists from the 2022 World Championship in Tokyo and the 2022 Asian Games Gold medallists, are the first Indian men's doubles pair to be ranked world No.1 in badminton and will represent India at Paris 2024.

The duo met with Dinesh Karthik on JioCinema's 'Get Set Gold', where they unpacked secrets to their game, talked about the initial language barrier they faced in their partnership, and their common love for South Indian music.

Satwiksairaj, who holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest hit, clocking a speed of 565 km/hr, gave an insight into the technique behind the smash and what inspired him.

“I learned the smash from volleyball, how players jump and smash. It looks like a heroic movement and that is how I started learning my jump when I was young. Nobody taught me this and I think the smash has achieved success somehow. I try taking a peripheral view to subconsciously sense where the opponents are standing. Earlier, I used to play a lot with angles and hit the line, but now I try hitting towards the opponent's body.”

While Shetty and Rankireddy took Karthik through their workout regime, they also discussed the physicality of their opponents and how it surprised them on most occasions. Shetty described the nuances of playing a doubles match, and what are the various aspects other than power that define their game. He then took Karthik through the drills they do to perfect their defence and develop muscle memory.

“When we talk about doubles, the game is not just about power. The game is a lot more about the defence, the net game, on how to get the lift right. Defence is another important part of the game. There are a lot of aspects when you think about doubles, and it is not just about power."

Shetty also shared how Rankireddy influenced his music playlist with songs from Rajnikanth's, Kamal Haasan's, and Shah Rukh Khan's movies, over a game of carrom.

“Earlier, I used to listen to a lot of Punjabi music. But just before the Asian Games, Satwik made me listen to songs from Anirudh (Ravichander),” said Shetty. Rankireddy explained their playlist sequence,“To begin with there's 'Hukum', then Vikram's title track, and slowly we go into dance mode with 'Chaleya'. Chirag set the KGF background score as our entrance theme into the court.”

Shetty and Rankireddy then discussed the tough days in their partnership and how they overcame them to become the world's no.1 ranked pair.

“Earlier, I used to feel burdened, it felt like someone was purposely making me play with him and it was against our will. We did not speak the same language, which created many barriers. I used to speak in Hindi, while Satwik was more familiar with Telugu. The then coach, Kim Tan, said that he felt that we would make a good pair as we had a good attack. He felt we could make it to the Top 20. This conversation made us feel less burdened and we felt like partnering with each other willingly, Shetty said.

Rankireddy then shared how their partnership has become perfect and how it feels like their souls talk to each other in between the matches.

Shetty and Rankireddy are currently the third-ranked pair in the men's doubles and are serious contenders for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. In the last two years, the duo won a Gold Medal each in the 2022 Asian Games and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, along with more accolades at the 2022 World Championships, 2022 Thomas Cup, and 2023 Asian Championship.



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