• Monday, June 17, 2024

ASIA

Singapore: Indian-origin teen student, who died after fitness trial, wanted to be Olympic champion

Pranav Madhaik was devoted to badminton, a journey which started as early as in Kindergarten 2.

Representational Image (iStock)

By: India Weekly Staff

A 14-YEAR-OLD Indian-origin Singaporean student, who died last week after a fitness trial at a sports school, wanted to be an Olympic champion.

Prem Singh Madhaik, father of Pranav, recalled his son saying, “I want to be an Olympic champion.”

But that dream was left unfulfilled when Pranav died on Wednesday (11). He died after he was hospitalised following a fitness trial six days before. Though beset with grief, Madhaik lit up when talking about Pranav’s life, describing him as a charming boy who got along well with others, according to a Channel News Asia (CNA) report.

Pranav was devoted to badminton, a journey which started as early as in Kindergarten 2 when he watched his elder brother and father play the sport daily at a park near their house. The deceased player eventually joined his St Joseph’s Institution’s Junior badminton team in Primary 2, and became team captain in Primary 6.

After completing his Primary School Leaving Examination, he told his parents he wanted to play badminton full-time.

“He was too inclined to play badminton. Studying was secondary,” Madhaik said in an interview with CNA.

“It’s very tough to absorb whatever happened because Pranav had very high hopes for himself.”

Pranav’s family only saw him once a week as he stayed at the Sports School’s boarding facility. But not once did the boy complain that life as a student-athlete was hard, said Madhaik.

In fact, he was very self-motivated and never wanted to miss a single training session.

Asked if Pranav – and other youths in sport – were perhaps being pushed too hard and too early, Madhaik said, “If you want to achieve the highest level of success … you need to work hard and train hard. Only then you will see the result.

“If you want to play at a professional level, you need to do that. If you want to play for leisure, then that is a different track; you can take it like an exercise,” he said.

“But Pranav was looking for a professional career as a badminton player.” His two brothers aged 17 and 13 also play badminton for their respective schools. They have taken Pranav’s death hard, and feel like he’s “leaving them alone”, said Madhaik.

(PTI)

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