Despite holding the eighth spot in the world rankings for men's singles badminton, HS Prannoy faces a formidable challenge on his journey to the Paris Olympics.
With fierce competition within India, including rising stars like Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth, Prannoy is navigating the Road to Paris rankings, currently positioned at seventh.
As he announces a collaboration with Federal Bank, Prannoy underscores the intensity of the race for Olympic qualification and the need for unwavering dedication in the face of physical setbacks.
In this exclusive interview, Prannoy opens up about his aspirations, recent triumphs, and the crucial factors shaping India's badminton landscape.
Speaking at an event announcing his collaboration with Federal Bank, Prannoy emphasised, “Qualifying for the Paris Olympics is the primary aim right now. There are 10-12 tournaments left before the qualification ends, and I can’t take anything for granted.”
Acknowledging the intense competition in men's singles, the 2023 Malaysia Masters champion stressed the need for consistency and dedicated training. Despite his recent victory at the Malaysia Masters, Prannoy has been grappling with back pain, but he is cautiously optimistic about his return to the upcoming Japan Open World Super 500 and China Open World Super 750 tournaments.
Reflecting on his Asian Games campaign, Prannoy expressed disappointment at missing the men's team final due to his injury. However, he highlighted the significance of the team silver, calling the Asian Games a tough tournament.
Appreciating the support from the government and partners like Federal Bank, Prannoy emphasised the need for higher prize money in domestic tournaments and increased corporate support for players. He underlined the importance of top players training together to enhance opportunities for Olympic success.
As badminton continues to grow in India, Prannoy stressed the importance of involving qualified coaches and encouraging former players to take up coaching roles within the system.