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Giant-killer H.S. Prannoy’s star shines bright on the global stage

Prannoy’s star continues to rise, and his achievements continue to pile up

New Delhi, Sep 3, 2023- In the world of badminton, few players have displayed the unwavering consistency and dedication to excellence that H.S. Prannoy has showcased lately.

With each tournament, Prannoy’s star continues to rise, and his achievements continue to pile up. As of now, he stands as a testament to hard work, resilience, and an unyielding passion for the sport.

Despite being immensely talented and tirelessly dedicated, Prannoy spent an extended period on the periphery before finally stepping into the limelight, shedding the role of a secondary player among the top performers.

The 2023 BWF World Championship turned out to be the moment of reckoning for India’s highest-ranked shuttler. Having missed the medal on a few occasions, Prannoy won a bronze medal in Copenhagen, Denmark, which added him to the distinguished group of Indian shuttlers who have earned medals at the BWF Worlds.

Prannoy has now emerged as a force to reckon with. His vast experience, exceptional skills, and unwavering attitude give him a competitive edge that allows him to outshine his opponents. He is currently performing at the peak of his abilities and has the potential to surprise the top contenders at major tournaments.

Prannoy is often dubbed a “giant-killer.” While he may not have claimed a World Tour title before 2023, but the Kerala-based shuttler has consistently defeated a majority of the world’s elite international shuttlers throughout his career.

Whether it’s the prolific Lee Chong Wei, the indomitable Lin Dan, the former top-ranked Dane Jan O. Jorgensen, or even his idol Taufik Hidayat, Prannoy has emerged victorious against them all.

En route to his bronze medal win at the 2023 BWF World Championship, he outplayed the reigning Olympic champion and World No.1 Viktor Axelsen in the quarterfinals, whom he had previously beaten on two occasions — the World Tour Finals, and the 2021 Indonesia Masters.

Though the ace shuttler didn’t have major titles to his name till 2022 but he played a crucial role in India’s historic Thomas Cup.

During the quarter-final match against Malaysia, Prannoy’s stellar performance came to the forefront as he clinched the decisive match against Leong Jun Hao. This victory not only secured India a coveted spot in the semi-finals but also guaranteed the nation its inaugural medal in the Thomas Cup.

Prannoy’s exceptional prowess was on display once again in the semifinals against Denmark, where he triumphed over Rasmus Gemke in the match that ultimately determined India’s passage to the final.

Throughout the BWF World Tour in 2022, he demonstrated remarkable consistency, advancing to six quarterfinals and two semifinals. Additionally, he reached the quarterfinals of the 2022 BWF World Championships.

These accomplishments facilitated his resurgence into the top 15 in the BWF World Rankings, marking his return after a four-year absence. Moreover, he secured a spot in the prestigious BWF World Tour Finals for the very first time in his career.

The year 2023 saw Prannoy clinching his maiden Super 500 title when he won the Malaysia Masters and later he reached the second final of the season at the Australian Open.

Finally, last week the wait for the elusive world championship medal came to an end. Though he was a little disappointed but the bronze meant a lot to him.

The win saw him achieving the career best world no 6 spot in the BWF World rankings. He is the only Indian featuring in the top of the men’s singles chart.

From 2022 to the present day, Prannoy has been in impressive form, earning recognition as India’s top medal hopeful for the upcoming Asian Games and the Paris Olympics scheduled for next year.

Prannoy himself admitted that he is going though the best phase of his career. “I don’t think I have played this consistently ever before. I couldn’t play two finals in a row before. I think those kinds of results never came back in the days. So probably this could be one of my best phases,” he told last week. (Agency)

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