Sai Praneeth hopes for a medal on Olympic debut

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Hyderabad. Bhamidipathi Sai Praneeth is confident of winning a medal on his Olympic debut. The young shuttler is among the prominent Indian athletes selected to take home the top honors at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

The Hyderabadi shuttler is the only Indian men’s singles player to be in singles action. In this way, the 28-year-old will have a target to not only participate in the Olympics but also win a medal.

The world number 15 has set his sights on becoming the first Indian men’s singles player to win an Olympic medal. No Indian male player has ever made it past the quarter-final stage at the Olympics.

The Arjuna award winner is all set for top-notch competition and is confident of bringing home an Olympic medal. He is confident of repeating the 2019 World Championships performance when he ended India’s 36-year wait for a men’s singles medal in the event by winning a bronze.

The Hyderabadi shuttler believes that confidence helps in performing well. A medal at the World Championships has given her the confidence to give it all for her Olympic dream.

He believes the lack of regular tournaments in the last two seasons could benefit him.

“Nobody knows how people are playing and how everyone is practicing or how they are improving,” Praneeth said. So of course, it is something that is (same for everyone). It’s a new way of playing a tournament, especially in the Olympics where the top players will definitely be under pressure. So I hope it will be a good thing for me.

Sai Praneeth is in good shape having played four tournaments this year but match fitness may be a concern for some.

Sai said, I think, it is not that easy for them also because they don’t know how they are playing. When you (players) watch in practice, everything may seem fine. Only when you play tournaments will you know how good you are. Are you playing well or how bad are you playing? I think, definitely it will have an effect and I think it can be an advantage for me.

Kidambi Srikanth, as former world No. 1, missed out on qualification due to canceled tournaments. He is now helping Sai Praneeth prepare for his Olympic debut.

Sai Praneeth is focusing on fitness as he believes that as long as he is fit, he can play his game. Fitness has been the biggest issue for him. Multiple injuries in the past hindered his progress.

However, he used the break in training due to the COVID-19 pandemic to focus on recovery. (IANS)

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