BWF World C'ships 2023: HS Prannoy bags bronze, loses to Vitidsarn in semis
HS Prannoy lost to world number three Kunlavut Vitidsarn in the semi-finals to end with a bronze medal at BWF World C'ships.
World number 9 HS Prannoy ended his dream run at the BWF World Championships with a bronze medal and a loss against Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the semi-finals on Saturday.
The 31-year-old continued India's record of having at least one medalist in the event since 2011.
HS Prannoy had no answer to the defensive masterclass put up by world number three and gave up an opening game advantage and a 5-1 in the second game to finish with a bronze medal.
With this medal, HS Prannoy joins Kidambi Srikanth (silver), Lakshya Sen (bronze), B Sai Praneeth (bronze), and Prakash Padukone (bronze) to become the fifth Indian male shuttler to reach the podium at the World Championships.
This is India's 14th medal in the event with PV Sindhu winning five medals, including a gold in 2019, and Saina Nehwal (silver and bronze) claimed two, while the women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa bagged a bronze in 2011 and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty clinched a bronze in 2022.
Looking visibly exhausted after knocking the reigning World Champion and Olympic gold medalist Viktor Axelsen, failed to find his rhythm against Vitidsarn despite winning the first game.
The Thai shuttler was in complete control after that as he forced a decider and it felt like Prannoy needed to summon up all his reserves to keep his hopes of making the final alive.
Prannoy began aggressively again but Vitidsarn relied on his defence to force the Indian into long rallies tiring him further.
And once the players changed ends with the Indian trailing 7-11, it was always an uphill task for him to close the gap. A wide smash after an hour and 16 minutes from Prannoy meant that Vitidsarn would be playing in his second consecutive world championship final.
The final score went into the favour of Thai shuttler 18-21, 21-13, 21-14 and HS Prannoy ended his dream run at the yearly showpiece.