New Delhi, Jan 15: In the bustling badminton arena, where every swing and every point are stepping stones to Olympic dreams, Prannoy HS, the World No. 8, is gearing up for a pivotal journey.
As the India Open Super 750 approaches, Prannoy finds himself at a crossroads, eyeing not just victory on the court but also the elusive ticket to the Paris Olympics in near months.
Indian shuttlers will aim to earn valuable points and stake claims to Olympic berths across categories at the India Open Super 750 to be held at the Indira Gandhi Stadium from January 16-21, 2024.
The path ahead is formidable, beginning with a first-round showdown against Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei. With the Olympics looming on the horizon, Prannoy’s approach is simple yet profound – “One match at a time.” The seasoned player, adorned with a bronze medal and a hunger for more, understands the importance of pacing himself through the rigorous qualification process.
“I will aim for one game at a time, for right now my focus is on the India Open. The Paris Olympics is a long road to go. I am not thinking much about it. We have lots of tournaments in between before the Olympic qualification. For me, each and every game matters, that is how you move ahead and you analyze and work on the mistakes that can be avoided,” said Prannoy to IANS highlighting the wisdom of a player who knows that success is a culmination of consistent performance.
However, the competition is fierce, with the likes of former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lakshya Sen, and rising star Priyanshu Rajawat all vying for the coveted second Indian spot at the Games. The stakes are high, and every match in the lead-up to Paris becomes a battle for supremacy and Olympic qualification.
Prannoy, despite facing setbacks, draws inspiration from his experiences. Reflecting on a challenging match against Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, he acknowledges the hurdles but maintains his focus on the India Open. “It is a very important tournament ahead of the Olympics. I always have a hunger to go there and win the tournament. I have a lot of good memories and it is very special for him. My body now feels very good, I’m in a very strong mental state. Catching the flu was disastrous for me, drastically losing a lot of weight but that is how the game of badminton is. You are never sure of your body. For me, being mentally and physically stable matters the most,” he asserts, revealing the determination that fuels his pursuit of success.
The journey, however, is not just about the India Open; it’s about a series of tournaments that will shape Prannoy’s destiny. With a strategic eye on the calendar, he envisions participation in 5 to 7 key events, emphasising the importance of rest and maintaining peak physical and mental condition. The French and Indonesian Opens hold particular significance, forming crucial stepping stones on Prannoy’s road to Olympic qualification.
“Most probably 5 to 7 tournaments that I will aim to play ahead of the Olympics. Rest is one of the key factors for me, so going into the qualifications you want to be in good mental strength and a good physique. The aim will be the French Open and Indonesian Open which I will aim to have under my belt.”
As the badminton world watches, Prannoy HS embarks on a quest for Olympic glory. Each swing of the racket, each strategic move, and each hard-fought point become part of a larger narrative – a story of determination, resilience, and the pursuit of a dream. The title is not just a destination; it’s a journey, and Prannoy is ready for every step of the way. (IANS)