In Focus

HS Prannoy: Proper System Lacks, but Reached the Global Standards

By: Swetha Reddy
Date: 25 Jun, 2018
Image Courtesy: PBL

 World No. 13 HS Prannoy, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the 2018 Malaysia Open Super 700 tournament, as he had experienced minor wrist injury during the training. Nevertheless, he will be participating in the Indonesia Open Super 1000 tournament, starting from 3rd July.


The 25-year-old who outplayed badminton greats Son Wan Ho, Lin Dan, and Lee Chong Wei, opines on current badminton situation in India and suggests some tips to the juniors and badminton aspirants, in an exclusive interview with Go Badminton.


GB: What do you think on the ongoing Senior Ranking Tournament in Hyderabad?


H.S: I think it’s really good that we have a lot of domestic tournament these days. Lot of youngsters in junior list, who are playing well on the senior circuit. It is really important to have a lot of tournaments to improve the game for them to inspire and participate in the higher level tournaments like Asian Games.


GB: Are juniors in India equally competitive to par international standards?


H.S: Yes. There are 10 to 15 players who are very talented, especially Lakshya Sen, Rahul (Yadav), and Siril (Verma) who are playing well on the global platform. The ambience at the international tournaments is completely different and in initial three to four years, they need to continually participate in as many tournaments as possible. And, definitely they will scale heights in next 5 years, if they wisely make use of the opportunities they are getting now.


GB: Take on Gopi’s collaboration with the Odisha Government for the Gopichand Academy to promote badminton in every nook and cranny of the country?


H.S: I think playing is much easier than popularising the game, which has a lot of responsibilities. Gopi sir has been taking up a few initiatives to create more awareness and exposure in major areas, like training facilities, coaching, proper diet and the parapharnelia. Working from grassroots level and finding quality coaches is a big challenge to have the system in place in today’s situation of the country. Probably in next ten years, we would have more quality coaches.


GB: With global facilities and great opportunities available on board, South East Asian countries like China and Japan are able to produce more Olympic and World champions.


H.S: Gopi sir and Prakash (Padukone) sir has been contributing a lot to the nation. Hopefully, in the next ten years we will have the proper system in place and will be able to nurture more such champions.


GB: What do you think about the facilities lacking in India when compared with counterpart Asian countries like China and Japan?


H.S: I would say that standard of the Indian shuttlers has already reached the mark on the international platform, but the system and infrastructure they have is what making them to produce tons of champions, and that is lacking in our country.


In India, Hyderabad is the hub for badminton. But in those countries, at every nook and corner, one can find centers of the sport. Badminton Association of India has been doing really well, especially encouraging the juniors and sending them to the tournaments. SAI, also, has been supportive throughout the years, without which it would have been tougher.


The performance of the sport in the country will improve only when we have good coaches, physios, and proper facilities.


GB: What tips do you give to the junior players?


H.S: Juniors these days are blessed with a lot of seniors around them while training. I think they are lucky to be trained alongside the players from top 20. They need to realise the importance of having the skilled players around them and learn from them.


After every tournament, we do have a chat with them and we get to give them suggestions on which part of the game they need to improve.


GB: Any message would you like to give to the badminton aspirants who don’t have the resources to pursue the sport?


H.S: There are many players who came up without any resource or support and still are struggling in their career, besides injuries. Once they start training, they should forget everything else and most importantly, they should not compare themselves with anyone and keep on trying and improving. Eventually, everything will fall in place.

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