Indian teen shuttler, Lakshya Sen, won against reigning world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsaran in the final match in Jakarta to become the first Indian in 53 years to win a gold in the Badminton Asian Junior Championships. The 16-year-old thrashed his Indonesian opponent 21-19, 21-18 in the 46-minute final.
Way back in 1965, Gautam Thakkar won gold and till date it was the only male win in the tournament. P V Sindhu is the only girl to have the same honour in 2012. Apart from them, Pranav Chopra and Prajkta Sawant won bronze in 2009, Sameer Verma won silver and PV Sindhu won bronze in 2011, and Sameer Verma won bronze in 2012.
The top-seeded Vitidsaran started the first game with some attacking moves and gained initial points. But Lakshya used his trademark dropshots and smashes to go ahead by 13-11. Thereafter, he maintained the lead and wn the game by 21-19. The second game started on a similar note with both the players tied at 4-4. But Lakshya took the lead of three points till the 17th one when Visitsaran came back strongly to tie at 17-17. But Lakshya forced his opponent to commit mistake and won the game 21-18, thus clinching the championship.
Lakshya’s win in Asian Championship has boosted his morale. But he chose to keep his feet on the ground and looked at ways in improving his performances. “This Asian Junior gold is precious to me. It was a long tournament, so the focus was on recovering quickly after each match. It was not easy as ahead of the tournament I had to tweak my training a bit as I had suffered a shin splint. During the tournament I had to take pills sometimes to curb the pain,” Lakshya told the press after the match.