Keralite H S Prannoy, a member of the Indian men's badminton squad which won the country's first-ever Thomas Cup crown on Sunday, said unity was the team's hallmark and strength. "Each player gave their best for the team. Being a team, and not chasing personal glory, did the trick for us," the 29-year-old from Thiruvananthapuram, who won India's decisive singles in quarterfinals and semifinals against superpowers Malaysia and Denmark, respectively, said in a chat with Manorama after the historic feat.
India's women shuttlers have been doing well on the global stage. Do you feel the men's team will also be considered a superpower from now on?
Indian men had won many individual honours at the international arena. The victory in the Thomas Cup is a milestone moment for badminton in India because it is for the first time we are winning something as big as this in a team event. This historic triumph will definitely enhance the country's status in the sport and be a confidence-booster for young shuttlers in the country to shine on the global stage.
What was the secret behind this phenomenal achievement?
This could not have been achieved without unity among the team members. It is team bonding and the sense of belonging that motivated us to give our best for the team's cause. Each member of the team showed great team spirit and we always have had each other's back. Their support from the sidelines egged me on to give my best in the deciding singles in the quarterfinals and semifinals. When some players encountered defeats, the others encouraged them to move on to the next game.
Is 2022 the comeback year for Prannoy?
I have never taken a break from badminton. I have been dealing with a series of injuries that hampered my performance in recent years. My rankings had also dropped down. I played my first major final over the last five years at the Swiss Open in March. I'm glad that 2022 has been a good year for me so far. It is a great feeling to win a prestigious tournament like the Thomas Cup. I'm looking forward to carrying this momentum throughout this season.
(This article was first published on Onmanorama)