India’s top-ranked male badminton player B Sai Praneeth believes that regular exercises at home help him keep a positive mindset and on his toes for when actual training starts.
With the coronavirus pandemic inducing a nationwide lockdown, athletes have been confined in their homes for over a month now while the Badminton World Federation (BWF) has suspended all tournaments until July end.
Strength and endurance will be minimal when athletes resume training and they will have to target peak fitness slowly after the lockdown is lifted.
And the 27-year-old shuttler from Hyderabad believes that exercises at home will help keep the body ready to make the climb.
"Home exercises aren't as intense as what we do in gyms normally. But it does help us to have a positive mindset and be ready for when we resume our actual training," B Sai Praneeth told the Olympic Channel.
Indian badminton players, however, are in touch with their coaches through the Zoom app daily and their progress is charted thoroughly.
"We get on a call with our coaches every day and we have been suggested exercises on an individual basis. We also do yoga for keeping ourselves mentally strong," B Sai Praneeth added.
Though it is yet to be known when BWF will be able to resume tournaments, B Sai Praneeth feels that the Indian shuttlers will need at least two-and-half months of training to return to a competitive level.
“In order to regain physical attributes properly, it takes one month and another one and half month to get into the rhythm and fitness,” he explained
B Sai Praneeth is a contender to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics as he is well within the qualification range, currently placed 13th in the ‘Race to Tokyo - BWF Olympic Qualification’ rankings table with 51,527 points.
However, with the BWF freezing the world rankings and the IOC setting qualification deadline on June 29, 2021, B Sai Praneeth awaits an update on BWF's new cut-off date.
While B Sai Praneeth believes that the sporting fraternity wasn’t left with a choice other than stalling the tournaments and postponing the Olympics, the shuttler believes that everyone will find a fair chance of trying their bit to qualify for the Games post the pandemic.
“There are many who travelled on their own, putting their money, all assuming that the Olympics will be held this year and the cut-off date will be April 26, 2020,” the Indian badminton ace pointed out. “However, I hope BWF will do the right thing and have a fair qualification procedure.”