Brannui was awarded the bronze medal after going down to Vytedsarne in the semi-finals
Copenhagen: Aug. 26 (IANS) India’s HS Prannoy’s impressive run at the BWF World Championships came to an end in the final as he lost to former world junior champion Konlavut Vettedsarne in a closely contested men’s singles semi-final on Saturday.
The Indian world No. 9 started the semi-final match strongly and grabbed the opener in aggressive style. But the effort to see off two former world champions in marathon duels in the earlier rounds seemed to catch up to him as he fell to third seed Thailand 21-18, 13-21, 14-21 in a 76-minute clash. .
Prannoi will now fetch the country’s only bronze medal from the 2023 edition of the tournament, becoming the fifth Indian player after Prakash Padukone (Bronze – 1953), P Sai Praneth (Bronze – 2019), Kidambi Srikanth (Silver – 2021) and Lakshya Sen (Bronze 2021).
In Saturday’s opener, Brannui adopted a simple game plan of not letting Vettedzarn settle into any kind of rhythm. He was good at anticipating his opponent’s runs across the court and opened up an 11-5 lead in the mid-game period after winning seven straight points from trailing 4-5.
The 31-year-old Indian was the star of India’s Thomas Cup victory. He was then pressured by VItidsarn but held his nerve to convert his second match point.
With the momentum in his favour, Brannui opened up a 4-0 lead in the second game before Vytedsarne slowed the game down, forcing his opponents to take more risks as they chased for victory. The trick worked as he won five straight points to take an 11-7 lead going into the mid game period.
The Thai was in complete control after that as he forced a tiebreaker and felt Prannui needed to call on all his reserves to keep his hopes of reaching the final alive.
Branoy started strongly again but Vettedsarn relied on his defense to force the Indian into long runs which wore him down even more.
Once the players changed with the Indian trailing 7-11, it was always a daunting task for him to bridge the gap. A powerful strike after 1 hour and 16 minutes from Brannui means Vettedsarn will play in their second consecutive World Championship final, where they will face the winner of the match-up between Kodai Naraoka of Japan and Anders Antonsen of Denmark.
Meanwhile, in New Delhi, Sanjay Mishra, Badminton Federation of India (BAI) General Secretary, congratulated Pranoy for his efforts in winning the bronze medal.
“It’s been an amazing week for Prannui. Defeating two former world champions is no easy task. This bronze medal is a testament to his hard work, dedication and perseverance.
He was quoted as saying in a statement, “We at Badminton Federation of India are very proud of our players as we have continued our medal winning streak at the BWF World Championships since 2011. I wish Pranoi more success in the upcoming competitions.” on saturday.
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