In a momentous day for Indian sports, badminton stars Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were crowned with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the nation’s highest sporting honor. This recognition comes as a crowning achievement for the exceptional duo, who soared to the top of the BWF world rankings in October after clinching gold at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Their triumph echoes through the years, a testament to their relentless pursuit of excellence since 2022. Together, they’ve dominated the international circuit, racking up five BWF World Tour titles – Indian Open, French Open, Swiss Open, Indonesia Open, and Korea Open – leaving a trail of victories in their wake.
The Khel Ratna, bestowed upon those who exhibit unparalleled achievements over four years, marks a prestigious culmination for Shetty and Rankireddy. Following in the footsteps of greats like Vishwanathan Anand (chess) and Sachin Tendulkar (cricket), they join a legendary league of Indian sports icons.
This isn’t just a personal victory; it’s a watershed moment for badminton in India. Their meteoric rise not only ignites the dreams of aspiring players but also paints a promising future for doubles dominance on the world stage. The official presentation by the President of India in January 2024 awaits, but the echoes of their success reverberate already, a fitting tribute to their unwavering spirit and phenomenal talent.