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“Didn’t Expect”: HS Prannoy On Claiming First BWF World Championships Medal

HS Prannoy in action against Viktor Axelsen in 2023 BWF World Championships quarter-final.© AFP

After claiming his first-ever BWF World Championships medal, star Indian shuttler HS Prannoy said that he “didn’t expect” it this year because of the “tough draw” of the tournament. Prannoy’s dream run at the world event ended on Saturday after he lost 21-18, 13-21 14-21 to world number 3 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the men’s singles semifinal to sign off with a bronze medal. While it was the player’s maiden podium finish at the event, his achievement extended India’s record of having at least one medallist in the showpiece since 2011.

“I am extremely happy to finally get a Worlds medal,” Prannoy told NDTV in an exclusive interview.

“I didn’t expect this year because straight from first round it was a tough draw for me. To get out of that draw and get a medal is something that was very unexpected from my side, but extremely happy to be on that podium,” he added.

In the quarter-final, Prannoy had faced world number 1 Viktor Axelsen. The Indian player lost the first game 13-21, but he made a remarkable comeback to win the remaining two games 21-15, 21-16.

“Playing against Viktor in Copenhagen, in front of a packed home crowd was something else for me. When I entered then I realised – ‘This is something huge. You are playing against the world’s best’,” said Prannoy.

“But I think I was in a very good zone that day to really shut down what was happening around. That was a big win because it eventually got me a medal. (It was a) kind of sweet victory,” he added.

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