HS Prannoy won his first BWF World Championships medal, a bronze, in Copenhagen, joining a select group of Indian shuttlers with medals in the Worlds. Despite showing flashes of brilliance, Prannoy struggled with inconsistency in the past.
“In this moment, I’m not just representing myself; I’m representing every single person who believes in me. Never underestimate the power of perseverance. The journey continues,” Prannoy tweeted after the World Championships bronze.
In a way, the champion shuttler’s recent expression shows he means business, especially with the upcoming Olympics in Paris next year. It’s never easy for any athlete, no matter how talented, to watch the bigger or more familiar names take the spotlight. Motivation, or lack thereof, can be a major challenge.
Prannoy’s abundance of talent has been evident in recent months, culminating in his victory at the Malaysian Masters in June. His entourage, including travelling coach R.M.V. Guru Sai Dutt, a Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist, and physio Sumansh, joined him at the perfect time.
“Honestly, we have rarely seen someone else put in the kind of effort Prannoy does in training. For his age, he is just remarkable,” Guru said sometime back.
It was obvious that Prannoy was low on confidence after the disappointment in the last Sudirman Cup.
“It is his never-say-die attitude and the intense urge to keep going that made Prannoy stand apart. His forehand is just too good,” Guru, a Commonwealth Games bronze medallist said.
Prannoy (31) and Guru (32), who are only a year apart in age, have played together frequently in training sessions. Prannoy is known for his strategic play, as demonstrated when he defeated Olympic and world champion Victor Axelsen.
The biggest asset for the spirited Prannoy has been his tenacity to hold even when the going gets tough.
“Well, honestly, before the Malaysian Masters, Prannoy looked to be short on confidence after the disappointment in the Sudirman Cup earlier. But, fortunately, being a workaholic with a never-say-die attitude, he could bounce back at the right time,” he said.
It is worth noting that the bronze medallist at Worlds is not rushing to make attacking strokes like before. He is currently playing a waiting game, as evidenced by the number of rallies.
“More than trying to win, trying to improve myself on many sides,” Prannoy said before the Worlds.
By all means, the Guru-Prannoy combine can well be the focal point even as the other big names of Indian badminton should be desperate to make it to the Paris Olympics next year.
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