To buoy their preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, the Indian doubles duo of Satwisairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have roped in London Olympics silver medallist Mathias Boe as their coach.
The Danish doubles great will join the Indian duo in Hyderabad next week and will be in charge of the national doubles team that also includes Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy. Boe will take over from Flandy Limpele of Indonesia who stepped down from the role last year due to personal reasons.
The Indian doubles team has trained under Asians Flandy Limpele and Kim Tan Her in the past. But a switch to Boe, who comes in with a distinctive European flavour, could help them progress further.
“Yes, the game and the style of play are different. But then he retired just last year. So, he’s aware of the kind of talent that exists in the top 10 and can help us better understand what needs to be done to go ahead,” Chirag Shetty told Olympic Channel.
“Moreover, Boe and Carsten Mogenson (his doubles partner) have a great record in closing out tight matches. He’s someone who bossed his serve and the net game. And that’s an area we need to work on. Getting to work with Boe will give us a huge psychological boost.”
Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty are in prime position to make the cut for Tokyo 2020 -- they are currently ninth in the Race to Tokyo with 16 pairs eligible.
The Indian duo had a fine start to the Olympic year with a semi-final appearance at the Toyota Thailand Open. And with Mathias Boe on board, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy was confident of taking their game to the next level.
“We were confident when we played our second tournament in Bangkok. We are fit and we have the fire in us but we need to do much better mentally. Boe’s appointment will help us win tight matches,” Satwik said in a statement released by Sports Authority of India (SAI).
The Indians will be next seen in action at the Swiss Open Super 300 event in March.
During his playing days, Mathias Boe was one of the most talked-about shuttlers in Europe with a silver at the 2012 Olympics, two All England Open titles and a silver from the 2013 world badminton championships underlining his credentials.
The Dane, who retired from international badminton last year, was also a part of the Premier Badminton League, a franchise-based competition in India, where he partnered Chirag Shetty for the Pune 7Aces.