HS Prannoy shifted to Hyderabad from Thiruvananthapuram last year with the dream of converting the potential he had shown on the domestic circuit into international success.
Within 12 months, the Pullela Gopi Chand Academy trainee had assured himself of a second international medal when he reached the final of the boy's singles event at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games in Singapore on Wednesday.
Prannoy, who had won a bronze at the World Championship in Mexico in April, rallied to beat top seeded Korean Kang Ji Wook 19-21, 21-17, 21-17 and avenged his defeat in Mexico.
"It was a great victory for Prannoy. He was attacking and his backhand looked good. He lost the first game but he bounced back and played well in crucial moments," Gopi Chand, the chief national coach, was quoted as saying by a news agency.
The 19-year-old will now take on Thailand's Pisit Poodchalat in a summit clash that could carve his name in history books as the first Indian to win a Youth Olympics gold.
Prannoy won all his three group games before beating F Sieh of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals. Another Indian, national champion B Sai Praneeth, bowed out at the group stage after losing one of the three league encounters.
Bhambri in semifinals, to play Dzumhur
Singapore: Yuki Bhambri braved cramps to get the better of Ireland's John Morrissey and enter the semifinals of the boys singles event in the inaugural Youth Olympic Games here today.
The sixth seed Indian defeated Morrissey 6-4 6-4 in the quarter-finals at Kallang Tennis Centre.
"It was an up and down match, and the momentum kept shifting. Every match is going to be tough now," Yuki said after winning his match.
The 2009 junior Australian Open champion will next face second seed Damir Dzumhur from Bosnia, who beat seventh seed Hungarian Mate Zsiga 6-3 6-4 in his last-eight stage match.