THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala’s Prannoy H S, the second highest ranked Indian in shuttle badminton, clinched his second Grand Prix Gold title at the Swiss Open in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday. The 23-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram did so in style as he registered a straight game win over Germany’s Marc Zwiebler 21-18 21-15 in the final of the USD 120,000 event.
Prannoy, seeded 13th in the tournament, won the final in 45 minutes and had defeated higher ranked players including Rajiv Ouseph of England on his road to victory. “I am very happy with the win. But I am even more happier that I could play really well after a long gap,” Prannoy told Express from Basel. “It wasn’t as easy as the score suggested. The rallies were very long and it was really tough for me to get the win,” he added.
This is his second Grand Prix title after his win in the Indonesia Open Grand Prix Gold in 2014 and follows up on his individual silver and team gold for India at the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati earlier this year.
“This is one of the biggest achievement for Kerala in badminton. Our players have been failing to make it in the singles in recent years, but Prannoy has proven to all that we can still do it with this win,” said M J Mohanachandran, his former coach. “He is a very hardworking player with great character and I think he should now target playing and winning prestigious events like the Olympics and All England Open,” he added.
In the final on Sunday, World number 27 Prannoy had to sweat in the first game as he was tied on 18 points with the German, who is ranked 19 in the world, at one stage of the game before winning three straight points and the opening game. Prannoy had an easier second game as he outclassed Zweibler 21-15 to win the prestigious title. Prannoy had broken into fame when he won the silver at the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore.