Badminton Asia Junior Championships 2018: Lakshya Sen upsets second seed to enter semi-finals, ensures medal for India
India’s top junior Lakshya Sen continues his rampaging run at the individual event of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships 2018 as he stormed into the semi-finals at Jakarta, Indonesia on Friday. Sen, who is seeded sixth at this prestigious junior event, needed 38 minutes to get the better of China’s second seed Li Shifeng 21-14, 21-12.
With that win, the 16-year-old ensured a medal for India. He next takes on the fourth seed Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay of Indonesia for a place in the summit clash.
This is a marked improvement for the talented Indian teenager at this tournament from last year. He bowed out in the Round of 16 in 2017.
This will also be Sen’s second medal from this event. In 2016, he had made it to the semi-finals, losing to Sun Feixiang of China. A win in the semi-finals this time will thus see him put up his best performance ever at this tournament.
Lakshya was in top form in the quarter-finals on Friday, and refused to commit any mistake. Employing his highly effective net game and his half-court smashes, he put his higher ranked Chinese opponent under a lot of pressure.
Shifeng, who reached the finals at both the German and the Dutch Junior Grand Prix tournaments this year, could never recover from the bad start and that allowed the Indian to comfortably close out the match in straight games.
Lakshya has dropped a game only once in four matches this week and will look to ride on his confident-boosting campaign so far to make it through to the final.
India’s challenge, however, came to an end in doubles as the men’s doubles duo of Manjit Singh Khwairakpam and Dingku Singh Konthoujam failed to cross the quarter-final hurdle. The pair, hailing from Manipur, went down 7-21, 15-21 to the top seeds Di Zijian and Wang Chang in 31 minutes.