Hasina Sunil Prannoy is the only Indian shuttler to have scripted wins over all the legends of world badminton. The strapping Kerala shuttler has vanquished Lin Dan, Taufik Hidayat, Chen Long, Lee Chong Wei but inconsistency and a spate of injuries has proved to be his biggest bugbear. For sometime now, the 25-year-old Keralite has threatened a lot but not been able to realize his potential.
All that seemed to have changed with his victory in the US Open last year. This coupled with a great win over Kidambi Srikanth at the Nationals earlier this year. This stupendous effort saw Prannoy break into the top 10 of the world rankings. This was the first time he had broken into the top ten and things were looked very rosy until a freak injury on his foot once again came to sideline him for more than a month.
Now with the prestigious All England championships around the corner, Prannoy has still not fully recovered from his foot injury–but that doesn’t deter him.. ‘I know I am not fully fit coming into such a major championships. But then there are certain things which one doesn’t have control over.certain things like injury, “ he said.
Prannoy also felt that even though he did not get enough time to recover from the injury to compete in the All England. ‘I don’t know how much I am fit going into the All England as I didn’t have the time to recover from my injury. But right now I am looking at getting some match preparedness
Prannoy has set his sight on getting a medal at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. “I am keen to win a medal at the CWG. For me, that’s the most important mission for me right now. I am very focused on winning a medal at a multi disciplinary event like the CWG.,” he said
Prannoy also went on to add that he had immense satisfaction after winning a gold medal at the SAF Games. ‘I had won a gold medal in the 2016 edition of the SAG Games in Guwahati in the team championships. I still remember how elated how I felt after having the gold medal around my neck. The kick I got from this has
Apart from winning the SAG gold, Prannoy has won the Swiss Open, the Indonesia Masters besides winning the US Open title last year. When asked which of these three tournament wins did he treasure the most, Prannoy said it was difficult to pick one tournament. ‘For me each and every one of the three titles which I won had something special for me,” he said.
But he did mention his semi-final effort in the 2017 Indonesia Super Series as one of his best performances. The reasons for this are not hard to guess. For Prannoy scalped the likes of two time All England and Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei and reigning world and Olympic champion Chen Long on successive days. ‘It was nothing short of a dream for me as I had beaten two of the world’s best shuttlers on successive days. I will treasure those wins for a long time,” said Prannoy.
Prannoy also said that he was feeling good with the training he was doing. “At the moment I am training well. But training and match practice are different things. I need to play competitive matches and tournaments to get back to my best form,” he added.
Prannoy reckons that the Indian badminton contingent has proven performers and should be a strong contender in the mixed team event. He went on to add, “the young men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Saiwiksairaj Rankireddy will look to set the court on fire in their debut performance at the CWG, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra will pair up with N. Sikki Reddy for the mixed doubles clashes. These pairings have been doing well in recent tournaments,” Prannoy said.
Similarly, in the women’s singles department, Olympic medallists Sindhu and Saina Nehwal will be the key hopes in the singles event. “In the women’s doubles section, the pair of Sikki Reddy and Ashwini Ponappa will look to continue their great performances as Ashwini will try to emulate her 2010 gold medal winning run with her new partner. “The women have been the flag-bearers in setting high standards. Be it World Championships or Olympics or any big event, they have proven their mettle,” said. Prannoy.