Almora Boy Makes India Proud, Lakshya Becomes World No 1 Junior Badminton Player

Lakshya Sen
Lakshya Sen

Lakshya Sen, 15, became the Junior World No.1 of Badminton’s rankings, following in the footsteps of Siril Verma and Aditya Joshi. The Almora, Uttarakhand boy, who has been training at Bangalore’s Prakash Padukone Academy, has benefited from his regular sparring sessions with Indian star Saina Nehwal with whom he trains, and reached the top of the rankings in the list released on Thursday.

According to BWF current rankings, Lakshya has 16,903 points in eight tournaments he has played in the season pipping second-placed Chia Hao of Chinese Taipei, who has 16,091 points.

Lakshya is a son of a SAI coach and he joined the Bangalore Academy when he was only 10.He receives personal attention from Padukone. Winner of U-19 tournaments in Switzerland and Denmark, as well as International Series in Pune and Hyderabad, the reigning junior national champion, won bronze at the Asian Juniors last July and is ranked No 212 on the seniors circuit.

He is predominantly a rally player, currently good at the grinding game, the tall teenager would need to prop up his aggressive game if he has to make a successful transition into the seniors in four years’ time.

His biggest challenge will come at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, later this year, which will host the Junior World Championships. Olympic medallists Chen Long, Viktor Axelsen and Japanese wonderkid Kento Momota were all junior world champions, while Saina Nehwal is India’s only junior world champ. Sen’s older brother Chirag, also plays shuttle. He has been supported for long by Olympic Gold Quest and has benefitted from the funding, with regards to exposure to international tournaments – often playing dozens of tournaments abroad, as well as aided by physios and trainers.

He has mixed his seniors and juniors outings well, though it is widely believed that titles rather than rankings will give a better indication of his capability in translating his talent into performance. Sen, alongwith Siril and Aditya, are the trio to look forward to, as they make a charge at the topmost junior titles currently held by China.

The young shuttler has had a brilliant year on the badminton circuit in 2016, as he won the Senior India International Series Badminton Tournament along with the All India Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament at Itanagar. He was youngest ever player and the first ever from Uttarakhand to win the title at senior level.

Lakshya has been training at the Prakash Padukone academy in Bangalore since the age of 10. The legendary Padukone had seen a lot of promise in Lakshya and has been giving him personal attention over the last couple of years. Padukone prepares his day-to-day schedule and monitors his progress closely.

Prakash Padukone
Prakash Padukone

“We were expecting this, perhaps it has come a little bit sooner than expected. Lakshya is a naturally gifted player and is quick to grasp the finer points of the game. I felt he had some very special qualities from the very beginning. The idea now is to help him keep developing tactically, which I feel is very important in the modern game where everyone tends to play a similar style as opposed to the ’80s and ’90s. I see my job as the one posing the questions, making him come up with the answers and I find he is faster at that than other players,” a proud Padukone is quoted as saying by ESPN.

SportsJoint Wishes Lakshya Sen Congratulations & A Glorious Golden Future Ahead & May He win Gold Medal for India in coming future.

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