Lakshya Sen wins bronze medal at the BWF World Junior Championships
India’s biggest medal hope Lakshya Sen had to settle for the bronze medal at the BWF World Junior Championships 2018 in Markham, Canada, after losing his semi-final to the top seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand. The fourth-seeded Sen squandered a one-game lead to succumb to a 22-20, 16-21, 13-21 defeat in 1 hour 11 minutes.
With the Almora-born Sen’s loss, the Indian campaign came to an end at the World Junior Championships.
This was the 17-year-old Sen’s first medal from this prestigious tournament in three attempts. He had bowed out in the quarter-final stage last year.
It also makes him the first Indian since Siril Verma in 2015 to win a World Junior Championships medal. Verma bagged the men’s singles silver that year after losing the final to Chia-Hung Lu.
Till date, Saina Nehwal remains the only Indian to clinch a gold medal from this tournament, and she did so exactly 10 years ago.
Lakshya’s latest accomplishment also helped him complete a triple-medal haul from three of the biggest junior events this season. He won gold at the Asian Junior Championships and the silver at the Youth Olympics previously.
Interestingly, the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy product had prevailed over none other than Vitidsarn in the final of the Asian Junior Championships in July, something he failed to repeat in Canada.
After losing the opening game narrowly, the World Junior No. 1 Thai shuttler made a tremendous comeback and Sen found it hard to contain him. Conceding the second game to Vitidsarn had a negative impact on Lakshya, and he could not gather enough strength to give a fightback in the decider.
The defending champion Vitidsarn will now aim to win the title for the second consecutive year when he meets Japan’s Kodai Naraoka in the final.