Top junior shuttler B. Sai Praneeth bagged gold in both the men’s singles and doubles events at the US $15,000 (Rs 7 lakh approx.) Senior Iran Fajr International Challenge Tournament that concluded in Tehran on Saturday. It was Praneeth’s first win at an international event.
He beat top seed Shahhosseini Ali 21-18, 21-19 in the final. In the doubles, Praneeth and H.S. Prannoy beat Shahhosseini and Mohammad Reza of Iran 21-17, 21-12.
“The win has boosted my confidence, though it was a difficult tournament for me. The singles final was a tough one as my opponent engaged me in long rallies in an attempt to wear me down,” Praneeth said from Hyderabad.
National coach Pullela Gopi Chand, said the win would help the 18-year-old shuttler get better. “The most important thing about him is that he has been consistent. I hope he continues his form,” said Gopi.
Last year has been eventful for Praneeth. In addition to winning All India Senior Ranking Tournament in Bangalore, he won silver medal at the Junior Indonesian Challenge. The Andhra Pradesh prodigy also finished first at the junior national championship in both the singles and doubles category.
“Now, I will start preparing for Junior ABC championship to be held in Malaysia in March,” he said.