He may not be as popular as Parupalli Kashyap or Kidambi Srikanth, but Prannoy Kumar or HS Prannoy has surely come a long way to enter the bet of badminton club. What started as a challenge to find a good coach who could believe in his talent, this young lad went on to register a US Open win and of course, many more down the line.
Explore the interesting life story of Parnnoy Kumar or HS as he is fondly called because it might inspire you in ways you never expected!
|Full Name||Prannoy Kumar|
|Age||26 years (17 July 1992)|
Highest Ranking: 8 (as of 3rd May 2018)
How it all began – Early Days
“He will never be able to play singles. He isn’t fast, in fact, he is slow and he should shift to doubles,” this is exactly what a coach told Prannoy’s dad. Well, the said coach must be definitely regretting it now!
Prannoy’s father, Sunil Kumar, is a former All India Air Force Badminton Champion. The best part, he taught the skills and techniques of the game to himself. A true inspiration for Prannoy and his biggest supporter, Sunil Kumar saw a spark in Prannoy that no one could. He knew that with the right guidance, Prannoy will conquer the world of badminton. Which is exactly why he did not let any negative comments affect him or Prannoy.
It's a Special Sunday for all of us, as we celebrate the #FathersDay We start with @PRANNOYHSPRI. "A father is someone you look up to no matter how tall you grow." #IndiaontheRise #SundayMotivation pic.twitter.com/Sral1Ej4GF
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) June 17, 2018
It was the result of his father’s determination that Prannoy started playing badminton at the age of 10. Of course, they did take some time to find a professional coach as multiple people rejected him and advised him to try doubles.
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) April 10, 2018
The search for a coach was brought to a fruitful end
The rejections and the wait for a professional coach was absolutely worth the wait for Prannoy. His talent was recognized by none other than the badminton champion Pullela Gopichand himself. Right from developing his game to being patient through injuries, Gopichand helped Prannoy rediscover himself. He also told him to channelize aggression in a subtle way to scare off the opponents.
“You don’t need to show it if you have it inside you — opponents are automatically scared,” Gopichand advised Prannoy.
“It’s an unorthodox backhand, raw power with weapons. We’ve not worked on it much, it’s been like this for 8 years – the power and angles on the backhand,” Gopichand told the Indian Express when talking about his prodigy’s style of playing. The explosive power in his backhand helps Prannoy to dominate over his opponents.
The Journey Ahead
Prannoy Kumar in action
After some stellar performances on the national scene, Prannoy entered the big league in 2010. His silver medal at in boys’ singles at the boys’ singles at the Summer Youth Olympics captured the imagination of the entire country. He followed it up with another silver medal at the Bahrain International Challenge in 2011.
Unfortunately, after that, he had to take a small break in order to recover from recurring injuries. His coach, the legendary Pullela Gopichand helped him a lot in this period. “Gopi Sir just said that put two years aside for injuries. He said the average career will be around nine years — ‘put two years out because of injury and push yourself to the absolute limit.
“You are young now, injuries will happen – there is no escaping that. Even if you get injured now, it is fine. Push when you are young. Once you are older, you can take it a little easy. But now, push ahead,” Prannoy told the Firstpost.
2014 and ahead
He came back with a bang in 2013. He reached the finals of Tata Open International Challenge. His fitness was not at peak and he lost to fellow Indian Sourabh Verma.
Prannoy got a lot of international exposure in the year 2014. He made it to the semifinals in multiple tournaments. Some of them were the India Open Grand Prix, the Bitburger Open Grand Prix, the Macau Open Grand Prix and the Sri Lanka Open International Badminton Challenge.
He also won the All India Senior National Ranking Championships the same year. Reaching the finals of Vietnam Open Grand Prix was a huge feat. Though he lost in the finals to Indonesian Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka, his performance was inspired. Coming back after a small break and playing so exceptionally is not easy. HS Prannoy proved his mettle and how he is here to stay in 2014. Soon, he became one of the best Indian male badminton players.
In 2015, Prannoy reached the semifinals of the India Open Grand Prix. At India Super Series, he stunned World Number 2 Jan Ø. Jørgensen. The victory catapulted his fame by leaps and bounds.
In 2016, Prannoy Kumar won the Swiss Open. Perhaps, the most stunning victory of Prannoy’s career came in 2017. He won the US Open by defeating Parupalli Kashyap.
He joins Sameer Verma in the Round of 16.
The 25-year-old will face the winner of Wang Tzu Wei vs Sai Praneeth next. pic.twitter.com/se9hxNJ7DJ
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) July 3, 2018
— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) September 11, 2018
The year 2017 was particularly special for Prannoy, as he defeated his idol Cheng Long at the Indonesian Open. Cheng Long was dominating the tournament for many years, but Prannoy pulled out to the biggest upset of the year to grab the trophy.
“It wasn’t the hardest match to win. I’ve played a lot harder matches. Today I didn’t really feel that I was in a fight,” he told ESPN over the phone from Jakarta.
Prannoy Kumar Net Worth
2018 – $21,775
Career – $118,743.50
Premier Badminton League
— PBL India (@PBLIndiaLive) October 8, 2018
Prannoy was a part of the team Mumbai Rockets in the Premier badminton League till 2017. In 2017, he became the costliest player in the league as Ahmedabad Smash Masters picked him up for 62 lakh. This price once again proved his tremendous value as a badminton player. Almost every team wanted Prannoy and was trying to pick him up in the auction.
“It was really unexpected. Auctions work that way, sometimes you can get really lucky. But I’m happy. It shows that the league and Indian badminton are headed to a good place,” Prannoy told ESPN.
PBL is giving badminton players lucrative opportunities and is making the game popular across the country. For the Kumar family, the tournament is all the more special, as the entire family makes it a point to watch all of Prannoy’s matches.
“PBL is when we get to spend a few days together and watch him play to packed stands. We’re willing to wait 11 months for it,” his father told ESPN.
With Prannoy travelling out of the country throughout the year and busy with his training, it is an excellent platform for his friends and family to watch him up close.
Interesting Facts about Prannoy Kumar
- Prannoy Kumar is supported by the GoSports Foundation since the year 2011.
- Prannoy is like most of the millennials and prefers to spend his free time binge-watching TV shows and movies. His favourite sitcom is the legendary show Friends.
- Other than of course badminton, Prannoy’s favourite sport is football. He is a huge fan of football star Lionel Messi and supports the club FC Barcelona.
- From his own sport, his favourite players are Chinese Olympic champion Chen Long and our very own Saina Nehwal.
- Prannoy never believed in his own talent as a kid. However, his father was the sturdy support that he needed. With the constant encouragement and support, he found his own belief and eventually this self-belief helped him succeed.
- There are times in our lives when we start doubting ourselves; it is during such phases that we really need our loved ones. One thing is for sure though, our family and friends may help us, but eventually, we have to walk on the path.
Another inspiring fact about Prannoy is his determination. He didn’t get bogged down by injuries. Considering the fact that he was injured right at the beginning of his career, the easier option would have been to give up. He didn’t. That is exactly what makes him a true champion!
Youth Olympic Games
Asian Team Championships
South Asian Games
|2016||Guwahati, India||Men’s Team||Gold|
|2016||Guwahati, India||Men’s Singles||Silver|
|2018||Wuhan, China||Men’s Singles||Bronze|
|2018||Gold Coast, Australia||Mixed Team||Gold|
26th birthday scenes!! Thank you all for the birthday wishes ???? pic.twitter.com/dSu2tdTzd3
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) July 18, 2018
Prannoy celebrating his birthday with family and friends
A beautiful picture with his mother.
Prannoy with his sister Priyanka, and her daughter.
Trust the Process.
— PRANNOY HS (@PRANNOYHSPRI) July 16, 2018
On a departing note, here is some motivation from Prannoy. Very well said!
Sometimes we have to just stay calm, believe in ourselves, and trust the process because if you are true to yourself everything works out in the end.
For more such inspiring stories, stay tuned with KreedOn.