On a Sunday when the World is glued to the India Pakistan clash at the Champions trophy, this athlete does India proud!

At a time when the entire nation is praying for an Indian win at the Champions Trophy, other sports are expected to play second fiddle. PV Sindhu & Saina Nehwal have done India proud, but today it was a new hero. B Sai Praneeth clinched the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold Badminton title by defeating Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie  17-21, 21-18,21-19 in a closely fought final in Bangkok on Sunday.

Praneeth squandered an early advantage in the first set when he was leading 16-14. The 24 year old showed that he was not ready to give up and gained an early lead in the second set after losing the first. He was leading 9-3 in the second set, but the Indonesian soon bounced back and won 6 continuous points. It was going to be an intense battle from thereon and Praneeth was all prepared.

It was one set a piece after Praneeth drew level in the second set. The game was headed for a deciding 3rd set and it was not going to be easy for either of them. Praneeth had won 3 crucial points in the second set to get into the 3rd. The 3rd set was no different. Praneeth and Christie were evenly matched at 19 all, but Praneeth stepped up at the right moment & bagged the title.

2017 has been a great year for Sai Praneeth. His coach Pullela Gopichand was delighted to see him upset Kidambi Srikanth in an all-Indian Singapore Open Grand Prix final. Praneeth had also made it to the final of the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow before his Singapore Open triumph. 2 Grand Prix singles in a year is nothing short of remarkable. At a time when cricket stars are glorified, professional athletes from other sports should also make the headlines.

Pullela Gopichand is the greatest badminton coach in the world and his wards are only reaffirming his status at the top. More to come.

Even Praneeth can watch the India Pakistan match now. As I complete this article India has already scored 319 from 48 overs and Pakistan will need 320 to win from 48 overs. Let’s hope for the best.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Praneeth for winning the Thailand open badminton tournament.

Come on India.

Source: Hindustan Times

Alok Shetty