The 24-year-old Badminton player won all his matches, even defeating the world’s fourth best player.
During the Premier Badminton League that took place early this year, one player shined bright. Having won all seven matches without losing a single one, Prannoy H.S. of the runners-up, Mumbai Rockets, managed to defeat several top players, including Son Wan-Ho of South Korea, currently ranked fourth worldwide. Even Olympic medallists like P.V. Sindhu and Carolina Marin have won just six out of seven and four out of six matches, respectively. Prannoy, who is ranked 25 worldwide, was also awarded the Most Inspiring Player of the league.
The first thing that strikes a person who wants to know about Prannoy’s journey is that he is an extremely quick learner, be it badminton or the several languages that he has learnt to speak. “I started playing Badminton when I was 10. My father is a player, and I used to tag along with him for tournaments. He introduced me to the game and while he didn’t continue playing professionally, I took it up. Initially, when I was playing with him, we noticed that I was faster than the other kids to pick up the game.
While others took about five months to play decently, I got the hang of it in just a month,” the 24-year-old champion from Kerala says. Prannoy has been training in the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in the city for over eight years now, and owes much of his success to the facilities and the kind of coaching that is provided to him there. “Gopichand himself plays with us all day, and such effective training has helped me do well in the league,” he says.
About his phenomenal performance, he says that it was much needed for him. “I have not been able to go beyond pre-quarter finals in world tournaments for some time now, and this win has been a huge confidence booster. I defeated Son Wan-Ho despite being several ranks away from him, so that felt great. However, this was only a 11-point game. If it was a regular 21-points game, things may have been different,” he says.
Prannoy performed splendidly despite struggling through severe injuries in the past. About how he manages to spring back up, he says, “I have been playing for so many years now and have experienced many injuries. It is disappointing, but with experience comes maturity, which makes you accept the fact and then train harder to overcome the challenges.”