BWF World Championships: HS Prannoy pulls off a heist, reaches quarters

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HS Prannoy now joins PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen in the quarterfinals of BWF World Championships.

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Shared News: December 17, 2021 10:14:36 am
The Covid year has brought patience into HS Prannoy’s pounding game. (BWF)

HS Prannoy on late Thursday pulled off a heist to make it to the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships 2021. He now joins PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen in the Round of eight of the season-ending tournament taking place in Huelva, Spain.

Prannoy rallied to beat Rasmus Gemke 16-21, 21-8, 22-20 in an epic battle. After an hour and 16 minutes, the Indian shuttler took off his shirt and screamed in celebraton as he beat Gemke for the first time in three attempts.

The most admirable aspect of Prannoy’s win is he is thinking for himself out on the court, can strategise on his feet and doesn’t need spoon-feeding from coach. One of the most cerebral players around the world, an original. Plus has negotiated a pretty tough draw in the lower bracket.

Earlier, Prannoy registered a straight-game win over Daren Liew of Malaysia to reach the pre-quarterfinals, beating his Malaysian opponent 21-7 21-17 in a men’s singles second-round match that lasted 42 minutes.

Before that, in Round 1, Prannoy accounted for No. 8 Ng Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong, winning 13-21, 21-18, 21-19 in a stunning come-from-behind win in 71 minutes.

The Indian shuttler was best known for ousting Lin Dan from his last World Championship in 2019. But reaching the quarterfinals is his closest whiff of a medal. He’ll need another mammoth effort on Friday- up against the tournament’s red hot breakthrough talent, Singaporean Loh Kean Yew, who beat Thai 16th seed Kantaphon Wangcharoen to reach this stage.

Meanwhile, 20-year old Lakshya was dominant against Kevin Cordon, beating the Guatamelan 21-13, 21-8 in a match that lasted just 32 minutes. That’s three Indian men in quarters:

Srikanth vs Caljouw
Prannoy vs Loh Kean Yew
Sen vs Zhao Jun Peng