It was a double bonanza for India as B Sai Praneeth and the Rio Olympics-bound men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy won titles at the $55,000 Canada Open Grand Prix badminton tournament in Calgary on Sunday.
The 23-year-old Praneeth, seeded fourth, dished out a dominating game to defeat Korea’s Lee Hyun Il 21-12, 21-10 in the men’s singles final that lasted less than half an hour at Calgary’s Markin MacPhail Centre.
Top seed Manu and Sumeeth Reddy, who became the first Indian men’s doubles pair to qualify for the Rio Games, received a big boost when they defeated local combo of Adrian Liu and Toby Ng 21-8, 21-14 in a lop-sided final.
Plagued by injuries and indifferent form, Praneeth has been making early exits from tournaments for quite a few years now. He did have the occasional burst of brilliance from time to time like when he stunned 2003 All England Champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold tournament in June 2013. Or when he ruined the farewell party of Indonesia’s Taufik Hidayat, a former World and Olympic champion, in the first round of Djarum Indonesia Open in 2013.
In fact, at the All England Championships this year, Praneeth had defeated two-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in the first round. However, despite all these sparks of excellence, a title always eluded him.