What’s the story?
Having suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the men’s singles bronze medal match at the Commonwealth Games 2018, the India No. 2 shuttler HS Prannoy apologized to fans on Sunday. The World No. 11 was in a brilliant position to lay his hands on the bronze medal as he had a couple of match points against Rajeev Ouseph.
But the Pullela Gopichand protégé failed to capitalize on them and that galvanized the Englishman to come back and secure a 17-21, 25-23, 21-9 win in 1 hour 5 minutes.
With a likely medal slipping from India’s hands, fans kept on expressing their anguish on social media. The Kerala ace thus decided to put out a note on Twitter, admitting that he ‘choked when it mattered’ and could not live up to the expectations.
In case you didn’t know
Prannoy did win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Games, being a part of the mixed team event. However, he did not play any of the matches as Kidambi Srikanth did the duty in men’s singles.
The heart of the matter
Warts in his feet had prevented Prannoy from playing a full-fledged schedule in the first couple of months of 2018. He returned to action at the All England Open in mid-March and outperformed all Indians in men’s singles by reaching the quarter-finals.
The India No. 2 was thus a big bet for India’s second men’s singles medal from the 2018 Commonwealth Games. His hopes were dashed after he went down fighting in three games in both the semi-finals and the bronze medal match against Lee Chong Wei and Ouseph respectively on the same day.
While the Malaysian made the better start to their semi-final before completing a 21-16, 9-21, 21-14 win, Prannoy looked to have the edge against Ouseph in the bronze medal play-off right from the start.
Riding on his attacking play, the 25-year-old had two match point opportunities at 20-19 and then at 23-22 in the tight second game. On the first one, the Englishman amped up his intensity and came up with a huge smash and on the second one, the Indian sent the shuttle wide.
That continued to haunt Prannoy, who didn’t have any energy left in the decider to battle it out. Losing from multiple match points up was reminiscent of his semi-final defeat at the Indonesia Open Superseries 20, where he had five match points only to come up short.
Prannoy will aim to push aside this setback and gear up for the Badminton Asia Championships, set to begin at Wuhan, China on April 24.
While this has been a bitter pill to swallow, let us hope the Indian manages to forget this loss and focus on his next targets. It is a packed international schedule in badminton this season and Prannoy will surely get many more chances to get medals.Published 15 Apr 2018, 13:51 IST