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Health scare could derail HS Prannoy's Thomas Cup campaign

The Indian badminton stalwart needs constant medical attention to keep a rather peculiar health condition under check.

Health scare could derail HS Prannoys Thomas Cup campaign

HS Prannoy won his first match at the 2024 Thomas Cup as India eased past England. (Image courtesy: BWF)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 30 April 2024 7:33 AM GMT

HS Prannoy played his part in a dominant victory over Harry Huang as the defending champions blanked England at the 2024 Thomas Cup in Chengdu, China.

But all is not well with the world no.9, for a peculiar health condition has resurfaced.

After what had been a very good season last year, Prannoy lost nearly four-kilos in the span of two-months due to an illness that surfaced in January and which made it hard for him to consume food without feeling nauseous.

A troubling esophagus

The badminton star suffers from a malfunction of the muscle lining the esophagus that causes food to move up resulting in repeated bouts of nausea and discomfort.

“What I was feeling was when I eat the food doesn’t go down,” Prannoy said.

"Whenever I train, the food comes up and forward to the chest side and I need to vomit. It is kind of related with the acid reflux obviously. The food is not able to do get down. I can feel the food coming out, that’s where my breathing goes for a toss."

This illness forced Prannoy to consume liquid foods and sometimes train without eating, which caused the weight loss.

"I couldn’t eat much because I was afraid it would affect the playing schedule. I was ok to not eat and play; the nausea was even worse than not having anything in the stomach. So that’s why I lost 4-4.5 kilos in the last two-three months.”

Subsequently, after multiple tests, the problem has been identified and and the shuttler needs to the keep the condition under check.

"Once you figure out what it is, it’s a bit easier for you to trust the process. If you don’t figure it out you’re just shooting in the dark and expecting things to happen, and that’s what we were doing in the first two-three months. Doctors say it can be solved with medication. I can feel a lot of difference in the last one month," Prannoy added.

Raring to go

With the Indian contingent getting off to a strong start in the ongoing Thomas and Uber Cup, Prannoy got his first win in the tournament against Harry Huang as India thumped England 5-0 and stormed into the quarter finals.

"Winning a match gives extra confidence. The happiness is a bit more than winning an individual match. In 2022 as well we all had a good run of tournaments because of the happiness of winning the Thomas Cup," he said.

"Especially when you get to Thomas Cup quarterfinals you’ll have to play a lot of pressure matches. So that kind of gets you ready for good, tough fights,” Prannoy concluded.

With the Paris Olympics inching closer and closer, Prannoy would want to return to his best self and the Thomas Cup provides him with just the right arena to get back to full fitness ahead of the summer showdown.

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