Special focus on closing out narrow games, a bit worried about false positive: Praneeth

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Striving to grasp “closing out” narrow video games, Indian shuttler B Sai Praneeth is getting into his maiden Olympics “a bit worried” about returning false constructive for COVID-19 in one of many many assessments he may endure in Tokyo.

Praneeth, who had ended India’s 36-year-long look ahead to a males’s singles medal on the world championship with a bronze in 2019, has causes to get anxious having returned false constructive through the Thailand Open in January.

Forced to tug out of the event, a re-test confirmed a destructive consequence.

“You know what happened to me in Thailand, it was a false positive and I couldn’t play. Since it happened to me so I am a bit worried,” Praneeth, a 2017 Singapore Open champion, instructed PTI in an interview.

“Olympics is the largest sporting occasion. Before you can simply focus on your recreation now there are such a lot of issues: testings, so many protocols, you must assume about all that after which follow and play.

“But I am vaccinated now. A lot of effort has been made to conduct a safe Olympics, so hopefully, things will be okay. There is no guarantee but we need to be positive and focus on the game.”

The pandemic had hit the Olympic qualification course of, forcing the cancellation of most tournaments in 2020 and early a part of the 2021 season, however Praneeth was not shedding his sleep over making the minimize.

“I had already figured out that even if all the qualifiers are cancelled, I still will make it. So I was relaxed in a way,” he mentioned.

However, the cancellation of the final three qualifiers at Singapore, India, and Malaysia means he must head to the Olympics with out a lot match follow. Will it affect efficiency?

“I couldn’t play in Thailand and only played Swiss and All England. Then the last qualifiers were cancelled but we can’t do anything about it, everyone is in the same situation.”

The Indian gamers will depart on July 17 to take part within the upcoming version of the Games, which was delayed by a yr as a result of unprecedented well being disaster, and can get underway on July 23 beneath strict COVID-19 protocols.

Guilty of usually shedding matches from profitable positions, Praneeth mentioned he has been paying particular consideration to closing out narrow video games as a part of his preparation for the showpiece.

Far too many instances, Praneeth has been accused of missing endurance or speeding by way of to get forward within the essential moments, which resulted in heartbreaking losses towards high gamers.

“I don’t know if it is a mental thing or not. Sometimes you anticipate something and go for a shot but it doesn’t turn out as you wanted. But we have tried to address this issue,” Praneeth mentioned.

“Coaches have been trying to create match situations like when it is 18-all or 19-all. I am focusing on how I have to play and win those moments, so I hope it will help.”

The 28-year-old from Hyderabad will carry the onus of breaking India’s long-awaited Olympic medal quest within the males’s singles badminton when he competes in Tokyo.

It received’t be simple as he has to get previous the likes of Kento Momota, Viktor Axelsen and Anders Antonsen, gamers towards whom he has a dismal head-to-head report.

Does it hassle him?

“No, not at all,” pat comes the reply from the world quantity 15.

“I do know what I performed in world championship and after that, in China Open I had a three-setter towards Anthony Sinisuka (Ginting) in quarters, then one other China Open I had a shut recreation towards Anders Antonsen.

“The thing is whenever I play back-to-back events, my fitness goes down, so I might not have beaten them, but I know my game and I am confident of beating them.”

Chief nationwide coach Pullela Gopichand, too, has spoken about the necessity for Praneeth “to put that little extra momentum into his physical strength” to cross the road at Olympics.

Praneeth mentioned the extended break and cancellation of tournaments as a result of pandemic gave him time to work on his physique and expertise.

“I had a lot of time to focus on different aspects of my game, where there is scope to improve. I could work on my endurance. Sometimes, I can feel in the practice if I am not good enough but now I know I am in good shape, so there is nothing to worry about.”

With the focus largely on Rio Games silver medallist P V Sindhu within the run-up to the Olympics, tags like “dark horse” and “surprise package” have been used to explain Praneeth.

“It feels good if someone believes in you but I don’t give much attention to what is being written or said about me. I generally don’t take it to my mind and try to focus on my job at hand,” he signed off.

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