B Sai Praneeth creates history, becomes first Indian male shuttler to win World Championships medal in 36 years

By: |
Published: August 23, 2019 8:03:02 PM

Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a men's singles World Championships medal -- a bronze -- in the 1983 edition.

B Sai Praneeth , badmintonB Sai Praneeth

B Sai Praneeth became the first Indian male shuttler in 36 years to secure a medal in the BWF World Championships after a straight-game victory over Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie propelled him into the semifinals here on Friday.

World No. 19 Praneeth, who got the Arjuna Award this year, notched up a 24-22 21-14 win over Asian Games gold medallist and World No. 4 Jonatan in the quarterfinals.

Prakash Padukone was the first Indian to win a men’s singles World Championships medal — a bronze — in the 1983 edition.

Praneeth, who had won the Singapore Open in 2017 and finished runners-up at Swiss Open earlier this year, came into the tournament with a 1-2 head-to-head count against the Indonesian.

In the opening game, the Indian jumped to a 8-4 lead, but Jonatan stepped up to claw back at 10-10 before Praneeth managed a slender 11-10 advantage at the break with the help of a delicate shot at the net.

The duo continued their battle after the breather as Jonatan kept breathing down the Indian’s neck.

Praneeth eventually grabbed a game point at 20-19 with a cross-court smash at the back, but Jonatan turned the tables and enjoyed a game point himself.

However, Praneeth ensured he had the last laugh. The Indian unleashed a powerful smash which the Indonesian hit wide and then his rival’s weak return got buried at the net.

Praneeth missed the shuttle at the backline to concede a point but he grabbed the required two points — the last one with a cross court smash — to pocket the opening game.

The second game turned out to be a one-way traffic as Praneeth came out with all cylinders blazing to, first surge to a 7-1 lead, and then a massive 11-3 advantage at the break.

Jonatan tried to recover and narrowed the gap to 12-15 but the Indian stepped up to grab six match points, punishing a weak return and then shutting the door on Jonatan, who went wide.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.