The delicious taste of the Thomas Cup victory lingers, but Chirag Shetty, one of the architects of the historic victory, realizes it’s time to move on to the next challenge: the Commonwealth Games.
Chirag, one half of India’s finest doubles duo, played a crucial role on and off the court in helping India win the Thomas Cup tournament, which is regarded the “world cup” of shuttle tennis.
“The feeling from that week is still with me, but it’s time to get back to training and prepare for the upcoming challenges, which include the Commonwealth Games, World Championships, and Asian Games,” the 24-year-old Mumbai native told PTI.
“We did well at the Commonwealth Games last time, and the Thomas Cup victory will help us keep the mixed team gold.”
India won mixed team gold for the first time at the 2018 CWG, and Chirag believes they can do so again this year.
“In the Thomas Cup, the competition is substantially tougher. So winning the trophy was the pinnacle of Indian badminton for me. Because the CWG is a mixed-team tournament, the dynamics will naturally shift. This time, Malaysia boasts a formidable team as well. Because of their women’s doubles and mixed doubles players, they may be seeded higher than us, but if we can rekindle that fire and desire to win, we can keep the gold.”
Chirag and his partner Satwiksairaj Rankireddy will also try to reverse the color of their individual silver medal (in men’s doubles) from the Gold Coast.
“The last time we raced, we were brand new to the track. However, a lot has changed since then. We’re now in the top ten, and we’ve competed and won against some of the best players in the world. “Winning the gold will be a top aim for us,” he stated.
This year’s Commonwealth Games will be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8.
The Indonesia Open Super 1000 and Malaysia Open 750 tournaments in June are the first stop for the world number 8 Indian pair.