B Sai Praneeth

Inde IND

Badminton

  • Première participation
    Tokyo 2020
  • Année de naissance
    1992
Résultats olympiques

Biographie

B Sai Praneeth

India’s only participant in the men’s singles badminton event at Tokyo Olympics, B Sai Praneeth, was inspired by his aunt -- a former national level player -- to take up the sport. 

Born into a humble family in Hyderabad on October 10, 1992, the Indian shuttler would travel around 18 kilometres a day and then follow it up with another four-hour long train journey for training during his school days. 

The hard work paid off as Sai Praneeth impressed at the age-group levels, including former All England Open champion Pullela Gopichand. 

In fact, Gopichand was so taken in by the youngster’s talent that he included Sai Praneeth among the first batch of trainees at his academy which opened in 2008.

Under the guidance of one of India’s best badminton coaches, Sai Praneeth soon started making waves at the international stage. 

His first major achievement came in 2010 when the Indian shuttler, as an 18-year-old, managed a bronze medal at the BWF Junior World Championships in Mexico. 

From there, Sai Praneeth competed in several Challenger and Grand Prix competitions to climb up the rankings. 

His next big moment came in 2013 when Sai Praneeth lined up against badminton legend Taufik Hidayat at the Indonesia Open, a Superseries Premier event. 

Hidayat, playing his farewell event in front of home fans, was the overwhelming favourite. Instead, Sai Praneeth went on to script a phenomenal win for his first big scalp defeating the Indonesian in a three-game thriller.

Though he lost to Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei in the subsequent round, Sai Praneeth continued his fine form to get the better of the then world No. 4 Hu Yun of Hong Kong at the Singapore Open Superseries event later that year. 

But just when things were looking bright for the young Indian shuttler, a shin injury sidelined him for two years.

Sai Praneeth returned to competitive action in 2015, but it wasn’t until a year later that he was challenging the best in the business. 

The 2016 season saw Sai Praneeth beat three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei at the All England Open before wrapping up the season with a gold at the South Asian Games and his maiden Grand Prix title at the Canada Open.

The performance also saw Sai Praneeh make the top 30s in the singles rankings and that helped him compete in a number of big-ticket events on the BWF Tour. 

In 2017, the Indian shuttler made the final of the Syed Modi International, a Grand Prix Gold event, before clinching his first-ever BWF Superseries title at the Singapore Open. Thus, Sai Praneeth became only the fourth Indian to win a BWF Superseries competition after Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth. 

The Indian continued his fine run in 2018 with last-eight appearances at the India Open, Australian Open, Syed Modi International and the BWF World Championships.

Struggling to get past top-quality opponents in the business end of competitions, Sai Praneeth went back to the drawing board and tweaked his game to give him a chance against the top-ranked shuttlers of the world. 

It soon paid dividends as Sai Praneeth clinched a bronze medal at the 2019 BWF World Championships and became only the second Indian men’s shuttler to achieve the feat since the legendary Prakash Padukone in 1983.

The win also reflected in rankings as he rose to world No. 11. Though the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2019 and the 2020 seasons, Sai Praneeth kept working on his game knowing very well that Tokyo 2020 could be his maiden Olympic bow.

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Tokyo 2020

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Men's Singles
Men's Singles Badminton

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