GET Stock QuotesNews18 APP
News18 English
Powered by cricketnext logo
»
3-min read

At 16, Lakshya Sen is on Course to be the Next Big Thing in Indian Badminton

Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen is a bit different from kids his age. At just 16, when most teenagers his age have little idea about the path they will take as professionals. Sen has been making a mark in his career already. On Sunday, Sen won gold in Asian Junior Badminton Championships in Jakarta by beating Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn to become just the third Indian to achieve the feat after Gautam Thakkar (1965) and PV Sindhu (2012).

Madhav Agarwal | News18 Sports

Updated:July 23, 2018, 4:01 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
At 16, Lakshya Sen is on Course to be the Next Big Thing in Indian Badminton
Lakshya Sen celebrates after winning the Gold medal at the Badminton Asia Junior Championship 2018. (Twitter/ BAI Media)
Loading...
Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen is a bit different from kids his age. At just 16, when most teenagers have little idea about the path they will take as professionals, Sen has been making a mark in his career already. On Sunday, Sen won gold in Asian Junior Badminton Championships in Jakarta by beating Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn to become just the third Indian to achieve the feat after Gautam Thakkar (1965) and PV Sindhu (2012).

What makes his victory all the more special is the fact that it came against the current world junior champion Vitidsarn, who was completely outplayed in the championship match. In a complete domination at the event, Sen’s performance was notches above any of his opponents and among his victims were second seed Li Shifeng and fourth seed Leonardo Imanuel in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.

However, for someone who has already started to gain attention in the senior circuit, this might just be a stepping stone for the next leap. Former India head coach SM Arif is among those who have been impressed by Sen and believe the title will act as confidence booster to win at the senior level.

“This is a great performance by Sen,” an ecstatic Arif told News18 Sports. “You have to give credit to the boy for the way he played the entire tournament. He was stretched to the three games only on one occasion that tell us that mostly his matches were lopsided. So, this victory will hold him in god stead when he plays in senior competitions later this year,”

In the past few years several talented youngsters have made a mark in India but haven’t transitioned smoothly to the senior circuit. Players such as Ciril Verma and Aditya Joshi haven’t done justice to their immense talent leaving the second string behind leading lights such as Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy a bit barren. But Arif sees Sen as the one who can make it count against the top players in the world.

“It is heartening to see a youngster like Sen perform so well,” he said. “This will only help us bridge the gap between seniors and juniors. Although we have very good shuttlers at the top level, we were somewhat lacking in the junior department as not many good players were coming up the ranks. Sen is the one who is ready to take on the top shuttlers in the world now.”

Sen was out of action for almost three months this year owing to a shoulder injury. To meet the demands of the senior circuit, where players appear in 15-20 tournaments every year, the former junior world no 1 needs access to a proper training and strengthening programme to withstand its rigours. Arif is convinced Sen has the tools to make the most of his ability.

“If you see these international players have very tight schedules and play round the year,” Arif said. “You should maintain optimum fitness levels to be able to play at the senior level. By fitness I mean the recovery player makes in between matches and tournaments. That will only come by regular and intense training. One thing with Sen is that he is used to putting in the hard yards, and will train well to achieve the desired results.”

The veteran coach has read Sen’s game closely and feels that there is one department for him to improve upon — attack. If he can bring that in his game, Sen will certainly go a long way.

“I feel that Sen has a good all-round game. If he can just have a few more attacking shots in his game, he will be a force to reckon with in the senior circuit too. Now the onus is on the young boy to live up to the promise he has shown,” Arif concluded.

Also Watch

| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
Read full article
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...