Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Interview with HS Prannoy: "Important not to rush your international return after injury"

HS Prannoy is down with a toe injury, which put him out of the India team for the Thomas Cup. The 23-year-old youngster from Kerala is doing everything he can to return to the international circuit. Prannoy, who had won the 2016 Swiss Open in Basel, talks about his game and much more in an exclusive interview.
Excerpts:
Q You missed the Thomas Cup due to a toe injury – how is your recovery process going on?
I sustained a toe injury at the Singapore Open and subsequently had to miss the Thomas Cup. My rehab has been good so far – I hope to return to the international circuit by June-end – I’m aiming to play in the Canadian Open and US Open. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Q India’s Thomas Cup performance was disappointing – your thoughts.
I think we are not at full strength – me, Kashyap and Srikanth did not play in the Thomas Cup. I feel that the outcome could have been different if we were at full strength though the boys gave their best.
Q Is there any disappointment at missing playing in the 2016 Rio Olympics?
I’m a tad disappointed at not making the Olympic cut – I have taken it in my stride and want to return to the circuit injury-free and win tournaments.
Q Indian shuttlers have been consistently grappling with injuries – how frustrating it is to cope with injuries?
The most important thing is to know why an injury has occurred and accordingly take corrective measures. Equally important is not to rush your return to the international circuit. There is no point in looking at short-term goals of what if I miss a few tournaments as we all need to look at the bigger picture. I have been down with injuries on several occasions in last few years and I know it is futile to get frustrated as I try to stay positive.
Q How would you sum up your Swiss Open triumph?
It was really satisfying to win the Swiss Open – I beat higher ranked players like Germany’s Marc Zwiebler and England’s Rajiv Ouseph en route to winning the crown.
Q After the Swiss Open win, you faced a string of first round defeats. Your thoughts.
I don’t want to give any excuses but I was handed some tough draws in most of these tourneys – I ran into guys like Kento Momoto and Chen Long at the Malaysian Open and Singapore Open – I played my heart out but it wasn’t enough.
Q You played for Mumbai Rockets in the 2016 Premier Badminton League. How was your experience?
It was a fantastic experience to play in the PBL – the way it was conducted was laudable – crowds have thronged the venue, especially the final where we lost to Delhi Acers. I just hope the PBL is held every year.
Q India has seen seven-eight men singles players figuring in the top-50 in the last few years or so – does that tell you something about the health of Indian badminton?
Absolutely! There was a time when we had only Saina reaping laurels for the country – now we have Sindhu, Srikanth, Kashyap among many others. I guess Indian badminton will get even better in future.
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