Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy targets World Championships high, says ‘Focus is on endurance’

Badminton World Championships: Star India shuttler HS Prannoy is focussed on improving his endurance keeping in mind the slower court conditions in…

World Badminton Championship: HS Prannoy beats Lakshya Sen to reach quarterfinals, Chirag-Satwik in men’s doubles last eight, Saina Nehwal knocked out
World Badminton Championship: HS Prannoy beats Lakshya Sen to reach quarterfinals, Chirag-Satwik in men’s doubles last eight, Saina Nehwal knocked out

Badminton World Championships: Star India shuttler HS Prannoy is focussed on improving his endurance keeping in mind the slower court conditions in Tokyo which will host the BWF World Championships in a week’s time. Follow Badminton World Championships updates on InsideSport.IN

“I had a decent two weeks of training. There was nothing different, but courts in Japan tend to be on the slower side, so the focus was on endurance more,” Prannoy, who will open his campaign against Austria’s Luka Wraber, told PTI.

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Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy targets World Championships high, says ‘Focus is on endurance’

“During the Olympics, the conditions were faster, but mostly, it is on the slower side. Also, there is the Japan Open next, so I think endurance will be important.”

Prannoy had reached the quarterfinals at the last edition of World Championships in Spain.

With a run of quarterfinals, three semifinals and a runners-up finish this season, Prannoy has emerged as one of the most consistent Indian shuttlers in the international circuit.

Following his impressive run, the former world number 8 broke back into the top 20.

“It has been tough. The ranking was not unfrozen and moving even one ranking point up was tough. I needed to reach the quarters, semifinals and finals in the superseries events (world tour) to fill the gap.

“At the start of the year, I was ranked 29th or 30th and from there on, consistent performance helped me to slowly get into the top 20.”

Not too long ago Prannoy was struggling with health issues after being diagnosed with a gastroesophageal reflux disease during the 2018 World Championships.

Once he recovered from it, he was struck by Covid-19 in November 2020, the effects of which lingered, and had a huge impact on his performance.

Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy targets World Championships high, says ‘Focus is on endurance’

But Prannoy has never stopped trying out new concepts to ensure he gets his game back.

While Go Sports Foundation has provided a lot of support, Prannoy has been working with a company called Invictus, to improve not only his physical aspects but also his behavioural side, which includes psychology and breathing techniques. Prannoy has also been using a metabolic health tracker, a black patch which continuously monitors the glucose level in his body.

“It is a product of Ultrahuman which I have been using since February to understand how my body reacts to food, stress, and activity and to improve my metabolic health,” he said.

“I have got a back-end team which works for me, they can see my sensor, what I am eating during tournaments, it is quite accurate and can help to prevent any future metabolic disorders.”

All his efforts have paid off as Prannoy looks calmer on the court and has reached the semifinals of the Indonesia Open and the Malaysia Masters, finals at Swiss Open Super 300, besides playing a big part in India’s epic win at Thomas Cup.

But despite his best efforts, Prannoy’s last individual title win remains the US Open Grand Prix Gold in 2017.

Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy targets World Championships high, says ‘Focus is on endurance’

“For me, the happiness to win each point and round is important, I need to enjoy the process,” he said.

“There are going to be a few days when you won’t be good, you are human after all, and you may get tired of all the journey, so sometimes a loss is okay. If you are giving your best and keep knocking on the door, someday it might open, and hopefully soon…”

“Also, I think we need to understand the fact that we are consistently playing the top players in the super 1000, 750, and 500 events. There is perhaps no other sports where Indian players are competing against the top players day in and day out.”

Asked if the Thomas Cup win changed anything for Indian badminton?

“I don’t think anything big has changed. Perhaps, it was a short-lived thing and we have to do something large like at cricket level, and hopefully, maybe in the next one decade we can get somewhere close to cricket,” he said.

“Thomas Cup win was a big thing for us, but people are still hesitant to sponsor badminton events and leagues in India. It is the highest played sport in the country and no other sport has grown like badminton in the last decade.

“But we are behind when it comes to sponsorships. We need to push to the next level, produce some big wins to get endorsements from big brands.”

Badminton World Championships: HS Prannoy targets World Championships high, says ‘Focus is on endurance’

Follow Badminton World Championships updates on InsideSport.IN

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