While Prannoy won bronze in men’s singles, Satwik and Chirag Shettyclinched gold in men’s doubles.The men had also won the team silver.
“I badly wanted Prannoy anna to win the medal. In fact, I enjoyed his bronze more than my gold. How he helped us win the Thomas Cup, he will always be an inspiration for all of us. I know what all the pain he had endured during our team matches by playing with the back injury,” Satwik said.
“Me and Srikanth anna (Kidambi) were at the dining hall when Prannoy was playing. He was down 18-20 in the decider. I was too worried for him and thought why all this happens only to him. Many times he got injured at the wrong time and had come close to winning several big titles but missed them. After it was 20-20 we were walking out of the hall, then he won a point. I became emotional as well as sentimental and asked Srikanth anna not to move an inch from where we were standing. And after he won the match we both shouted quite loudly that everyone around us looked at us in shock,” said Satwik, who attracted his fans with his dance moves after winning the matches.
“I love to dance and celebrate. I danced a lot. But there is one more big target for us. Once we win that you’ll all see how good a dancer I am,” he added referring to next year’s Olympics.
Chirag Shetty is Rafael Nadal, he never gives up: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy
Satwik and Chirag were crowned No.1 on Tuesday and were already the reigning Asian champions before they won the gold at Asiad.
Ecstatic after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, Satwik said he was speechless once he sat near him.
“Modiji always provides great inspiration for all the athletes. But yesterday I was sitting in the front row very close to him. I got goosebumps. I thought, Oh! What a wonderful day for me. A boy from a distant Amalapuram town and a regular backbencher in school is so fortunate to sit near a great man. But I know this was possible only because of Gopi sir. Without him there is no Satwik, I could have achieved nothing,” said Satwik who prostrated at the feet of Gopichand after winning the gold.
One pair that troubled Satwik-Chirag a lot was Soh Wooi Yik and Aaron Chia. The Indians lost to them eight times before beating them for the first time in the Indonesian Open final this June and then in the semifinals of the Asian Games.
Queried how they sorted out their long-term nemesis, Satwik said, “The last time we lost to them was at the Sudirman Cup in May, that was our eighth straight loss. Then our coach Mathias Boe was away. He called us and shouted at me. But I told him I figured out a way to beat them. That loss did not rankle me, in fact, it helped us to discover certain new things. Thereafter, we have beaten them twice in a row in straight games. I think sometimes we need to lose to win big later,” Satwik said.