Guwahati: A crammed BWF calendar affecting his fitness last season, shuttler B. Sai Praneeth says he will pick his tournaments carefully in the Olympic qualification year and is eyeing a national title to prepare for the All England Championship.
With defending champion H.S. Prannoy and finalist Kidambi Srikanth withdrawing due to fitness issues, former champion Praneeth will be one of the favourites to lift the trophy at the 83rd Senior Nationals, which got underway with the qualifiers here on Tuesday.
“Last season, I struggled with my fitness and I was playing many tournaments. From June to December, I played continuously. I am fine now and fortunately no injuries,” Praneeth said.
“I am looking forward to All England next month and Nationals will be good match practice to prepare. It will help my confidence ahead of the international events. You have to beat all the top Indian players to win it and it is not easy because everyone is playing well,” said Praneeth.
The Olympic qualification period will be between April 29, 2019 to April 26, 2020, and the rankings published on April 30, 2020 will decide who makes the cut.
Praneeth said he will need a bit of luck and series a consistent performances to earn him a ticket to the Olympics....