India's young badminton sensation Lakshya Sen wins Bangladesh International Challenger 2019 defeating Leong Jun Hao of Malaysia in the men's final by the score of 22-20, 21-18. It has so far been an incredible year for Lakshya. The 18-year-old just added on his stride the fifth title in the last seven tournaments he had played.
The Almora boy started off his campaign by easily defeating his Indian compatriot Rajesh Verma in the opening round by 21-5, 21-10. In his next successive three matches, he took down three Malaysians -- MD Tah M Ziyad (21-13, 21-6), Aisil Soleh Ali Sadikin (21-17, 21-9) and Ng Tze Yong (21-9, 21-11). In the semis, the first-seeded Indian defeated Indonesia's Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay 21-18, 21-16 who was seeded third in the tournament. The final, which went on for 50 minutes, saw Lakshya faced a tough challenge in the first game which head into the deuce but the Indian got better off his Malaysian opponent.
This victory comes after Lakshya won the Scottish Open men’s singles title in November with a thrilling win over Brazil’s Ygor Coelho in the men’s singles summit clash.
While the senior Indian men’s shuttlers struggle to maintain their on-court consistency, Lakshya has shown promise with a good run so far in this year. None of the Indian men’s shuttlers have won any major title (above BWF300) this year. India’s biggest wins came year through P V Sindhu who won the BWF World Championships in August and Saina Nehwal, who won the Indonesia Masters back in January.
Lakshya began the year winning the runners-up silver medal at Polish Open International Challenge in March. He had to wait for his first title of the year at the Belgian International in September following which his performance picked up and he went on win four titles in the next five tournament — Dutch Open Super 100 and SarrLorLux Super 100 in October and lastly the Scottish Open in November.
Lakshya Sen started 2019 with world rank 109 in January BWF rankings. Polish IC runner-up finish gave a push to Sen Ranking and he moved to 76 in World Ranking. His ranking kept oscillating between 70 to 80 until October. He broke into the top 40, his career-best ranking before the Bangladesh Open. This will is going to further move him within the Top 35.