Tokyo Olympics 2020: Olympic silver medallist Mathias Boe to coach Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy ahead of Games

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI): Olympic silver medallist Mathias Boe of Denmark will coach the world number 10 Indian men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in the run up to the Tokyo Games.

The decision to hire the services of Boe was taken on Friday by the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Mission Olympic Cell under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Boe, a silver medallist at the 2012 London Olympics, has been roped in on the request of Chirag and Satwik.

Satwik and Chirag are currently ninth in the Race to Tokyo with 16 pairs eligible.

During his tenure, Boe will also help other doubles team under the TOPS — mixed doubles pair of Satwik and Ashwini Ponnappa and women’s doubles duo of Ashwini and Sikki Reddy.

“BAI welcomes Olympic Medallist Mathias Boe as coach for the Indian doubles team. He has been a champion player and has mentored several Danish shuttlers during his playing time.

“Indian doubles players had a good run at the recently-concluded Asian leg in Thailand and we believe Boe’s valuable experience and understanding of the game will help our players with the much-needed guidance,” said Ajay Singhania, Secretary, BAI.

Boe had had a distinguished doubles career, during which he also won the All-England Championships twice — in 2011 and 2015 — and was a silver medallist at the 2013 World Championships.

The idea to rope in Boe was mooted by Chirag, who has partnered the Dane in some events in the past and trained with him in Mumbai when the Badminton Tour was suspended.

“I have played with him and he is a mentor, having guided me earlier. Working with him will definitely help us in the Olympic year,” Chirag said.

“Getting to work with Boe will give us a huge psychological boost.”

Satwik, who recovered from COVID-19 in August last year, too was delighted with the appointment.

“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,” he said.

Chirag and Satwik had a breakthrough season in 2019 when they won the Thailand Open Super 500 and finished runners-up at the French Open 750.

The pair also made a maiden semi-final appearance at Toyota Thailand Open Super 1000 event last week.

TOPS has allocated Rs 25.54 lakh each for the shuttlers since 2016.