INDIA’S H.S. Prannoy (pic) has set his sights on capturing a historic gold in the Asian Games.
No men’s singles shuttler has ever won the title for India at the Games before.
Former great Syed Modi, who won bronze in 1982 in New Delhi, was the only Indian to win a medal in the individual event.
The Asian Games this year is set to be held in Hangzhou from Sept 23-Oct 8.
“I’m really looking forward to the Asian Games as it’s one of the biggest tournaments this year,” said Prannoy.
“My target is to win the gold.
“I hope to stay injury free as there are a lot of tournaments before the Games.
“I need to choose my tournaments carefully as it’s not possible to play in all.”
The 30-year-old Prannoy is currently India’s highest ranked men’s singles player at world No. 9.
Yesterday, he proved his ability by reaching the semi-finals of the Malaysian Masters.
Prannoy fought tooth and nail to beat Japan’s world No. 13 Kenta Nishimoto 25-23, 18-21, 21-13 in 91 minutes at the Axiata Arena.
“It was an exhausting match and I’m glad to come through with the win,” said Prannoy.
“It was good that I won the first game, if not it will have been very difficult for me.
“I managed to control the third game better.
“It feels great to reach my first semi-finals this year.”
Prannoy will play Indonesia’s recent SEA Games gold medallist Christian Adinata in the last four.
The 21-year-old Christian, who had to come through the qualifying round, stunned Prannoy’s teammate K. Srikanth 16-21, 21-16, 21-11 in another quarter-final match.
Prannoy is wary of the threat posed by the Indonesian.
“Christian did well to reach the semi-finals after playing in the qualifiers as it’s not easy physically,” said Prannoy.
“It’s always tough to play youngsters, who are full of energy and are highly motivated.
“I have to be on my toes to win the match.”