After a Consistent 2019, B Sai Praneeth Wants to Seal 2020 Tokyo Olympics Berth

B Sai Praneeth (Photo Credit: BAI/Twitter)

B Sai Praneeth (Photo Credit: BAI/Twitter)

B Sai Praneeth is looking to book his place in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics after a rather consistent showing in 2019.

Chennai: B Sai Praneeth on Saturday said 2019 was a good year for him in terms of consistency and his next goal is to seal a Tokyo Olympics berth at the earliest.

"Yeah I will be playing in Hyderabad only in the academy with Gopi (Gopichand) sir. There are four more months for the qualification...still everybody is fighting for a place in the squad," he said.

"For men's singles within ourselves, there is a very big competition I think. Till April the goal is to get selected. Then we have enough time to prepare. We have to be in top 16 for two players to qualify.

"We can't plan the result, we can only plan the tournaments. If I play well I want to confirm my berth as soon as possible. That's all I want to do...," the Hyderabad-based shuttler said here ahead of the fifth season of Premier Badminton League.

Praneeth, who won a bronze in the world championships at Basel in 2019, said apart from his performance at the worlds he had also played some good matches in the year gone by.

"2019 was a good year for me. Other than the world championship I played some good matches and had good results. I played some consistent badminton. Really happy with the way I played. Maybe towards the end in one or two tournaments I was not hundred per cent," he said.

"The world championship is the highlight. Before that I played the Swiss (Open) final which changed things for me in the beginning of the year. I played some good matches and the confidence is always there when you play good matches," he added.

Asked about Japanese shuttler Kento Momota, who is dominating world badminton presently, Praneeth said: "Definitely he is the one who everybody is training to beat. We know what to do but there should a lot more we need to do mentally.

"He just wants opponents to make mistakes. Everyone has a mental problem with him because he takes everything and is physically strongly.

"Definitely he is not unbeatable. Someone has to win against him to actually know what he is," said the Indian shuttler, who has wins over the legendary Lee Chong Wei and Indonesian Taufiq Hidayat.

He missed out on 2016 Rio Olympics, but Praneeth said this time he had a very good chance to make it to the quadrennial event, adding he has enough experience to handle pressure now.

"Last time I had a chance. This time I have a very good chance (to qualify) and this really gives me confidence. There will be some pressure. Pressure will always be there. I have enough experience to handle that pressure.

"I want to finish things as quick as possible," said Praneeth, who will turn out for defending champion Bengaluru Raptors in the 2020 edition of PBL, said.

Praneeth also said he had decided to focus on fitness and diet this year.

"My focus is on fitness and diet. That (diet) is one thing which I am very strict. I think if I get selected for the Olympics by then you need to be so fit to train for it," he said.