The Indian men's doubles team of Satwiksairaj Reddy and Chirag Shetty sealed India first-ever BWF World Championships men's doubles medal after stunning the world number 2 pair of Takuro Hoki and Yugo Kobayashi of Japan in the quarterfinals on Friday. India's chances of a second medal were cut short as HS Prannoy lost to China's Zhao Jun Peng in the men's singles quarterfinal.
The seventh-ranked Indians, who had won the Commonwealth Games gold medal earlier this month, dished out a gritty performance to outwit the local favourites and defending champions 24-22, 15-21, 21-14 in an hour and 15 minutes to assure themselves of a maiden medal at the BWF World Championships 2022.
It is India's second doubles medal at the World Championships - Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had won bronze in the women's doubles in 2011.
Having assured themselves of at least a bronze, Satwik and Chirag will next face the sixth seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik in the semifinals.
Satwik and Chirag dominated proceedings early on to establish a 12-5 lead in the first game but the Japanese pair reeled off seven points on the trot to eke out a 16-14 advantage. However, the Indian duo clawed its way back to pocket the opening game.
Takuro and Yugo made a strong comeback in the second game after breaking off at 9-9 following a tight battle. With the match hanging in balance, the Indian pair once again found its bearings as the two strengthened their defence and mounted an attack to lead 11-5 at the interval.
Satwik and Chirag then extended the lead to 14-8 when the Indians were called for a fault for touching the net during a return. The duo lost the point but soon managed to put that behind, leading 16-9. Yugo produced some sensational shots, including a powerful smash and a cross court return, to keep the Japanese duo's chances alive with three points.
The Indians then grabbed seven match points with another superb return which their opponents failed to negotiate. A tad nervous, Satwik faltered on his serve next but Yugo sent the shuttle to the net as Chirag let out a cry in celebration.
Earlier on Friday, MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila's fine run came to an end after the Indian pair lost to three-time gold medallists Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan in their quarterfinal clash.
The unseeded Indian combination, who had some sensational wins this week, lost 8-21, 14-21 to the third-seeded Indonesian pair in less than 30 minutes. The duo had earlier defeated eighth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen of Denmark in the second round.
Indian interest in the women's events came to an end on Thursday as Saina Nehwal lost to Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the singles pre-quarterfinals.