After Sindhu-Saina in 2017, Srikanth-Lakshya share Badminton World Championships podium in 2021
History repeats itself in the most beautiful ways as Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth claim medals from the Men's Singles like Sindhu-Saina did in 2017 from the Women's Singles.
History seemed to mirror itself today from a few years back when Indian badminton gifted us with a similar moment - the sight of two Indian badminton players on the greatest stage of the World Championships, standing tall, one with a silver medal around their neck while the other held on to the bronze as the Indian flag got hoisted up. Fast forward three more years and we come to 2021 and now, instead of 2017 Glasgow World Championships silver medallist PV Sindhu and bronze winner Saina Nehwal, the poster girls of Indian badminton, the picture has a new version with former World No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth wearing the silver medal and a young Lakshya Sen toying with the bronze around his neck. History, therefore, does manage to repeat itself and in the most fulfilling of ways.
While Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu revolutionized the scene of Indian badminton, especially for women, it was Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Parupalli Kashyap, Sai Praneeth who took the onus for the men's singles. Their efforts definitely have received fruition as 2021 saw Indian shuttlers, especially the male players, performing consistently well, and out of all of them, the 20-year-old Lakshya Sen was a standout revelation as a player meant for the big stages.
Sen, not having left his teens for too long is easily the most promising player Indian badminton has currently, and his exploits have been brilliant as he went on to become the youngest male Indian badminton player to win a medal at the World Championships after he bagged the bronze. Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth is back to his winning ways and his form is quite invincible and his game has only a few errors now and it is wildly reminiscent of his 2017 self when he was peaking before becoming the World Number 1 in 2018.
Playing a spirited match against Singapore's Loh Kean Yew, Kidambi Srikanth went down fighting very closely with the World Number 22 player, 21-15, 22-20. En route to the finals, Kidambi played another brilliant match against Sen as well, where both gave each other a tough time in a three-setter.
At the podium, the very familiar scene played out as both Kidambi and Lakshya stood to receive their awards and the coveted medal and the Indian flag was also raised. In 2017 as well, PV Sindhu ended up as the silver medallist after she lost to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. Meanwhile, Saina also lost to Okuhara in the semi-finals and ended up as the bronze medallist at the prestigious event. It brings so much joy simply in seeing how Indian badminton has grown - if it was women's singles shining bright in 2017, the men's singles look equally promising in 2021, for sure as many more of such moments are sure to occur in 2022, if this is the form that the players manage to stick to.