Free Press Journal

‘Big Three’ are still contenders at World Cship, says Praneeth


New Delhi : The Indian juggernaut has been rolling in men’s badminton but the talented B Sai Praneeth feels that it’s the ‘Holy Trinity’ of Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long, which will be the runaway title contender at the World Championship in Glasgow, starting August 21.

World No. 2 Lee, five-time winner Dan and Olympic gold medallist Long have dominated international badminton for considerable time but Indian shuttlers, including Praneeth, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy, had also recent success against the trio.

But Praneeth said despite their recent wins, the formidable trio still remain a force to reckon with at big events. In fact, the youngster’s observation sounded practical.

“If you see Lin Dan, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei, they are always preparing for the big events. We did beat them in Super Series and that gives us the confidence. But I guess, it is okay for them to lose a Super Series because they have won so much in their career,” Praneeth told PTI during an interaction.

“Chen Long didn’t win any Super Series event and then won the Olympic gold medal in Rio. Lee Chong also didn’t win much but won the All England, ditto for Lin Dan,” Praneeth observed stating that Super Series wins won’t be an indicator of what to expect at marquee events.

“So I think only if we can beat them in big events, then we can claim that they are beatable.”

Prannoy had defeated Lee Chong and Chen Long at Indonesia Super Series and Srikanth had beaten the latter in the finals at Australia Open. Praneeth, himself, had defeated Lee Chong at the 2016 All England Championship.

Talking about his preparation ahead of his maiden World Championship, Praneeth said: “I have prepared well. My training was good and that makes me confident. I just want to perform good. There will be a bit pressure but we need to overcome that in a big event.

“It is a big tournament and we had a six-week gap and initially first four weeks were tough. As we approached the tournament, we increased the quality and reduced the quantity. I am fit and I am ready for the World Championship,” he added.