Lakshya Sen overcomes food poisoning woes, steps up at right time for India
Lakshya Sen, who was suffering from food poisoning, found his momentum back and stepped up for India in the final to win the Thomas Cup.
Lakshya Sen, India's highest-ranked men's singles badminton player, played an integral part for the Indian men's badminton team in the final of the Thomas Cup against Indonesia. Despite being a set down, he pulled off a stellar show against the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Anthony Ginting to win the match 21-8, 17-21, 16-21 in 65 minutes and give India an edge from the very beginning.
The 20-year-old, who had come to this tournament following a stellar run in March when he finished as the runners-up in German Open and All England Open, looked barely a shadow of himself till the semifinals of the Thomas Cup. After winning his first game against Germany's Max Weisskirchen, Lakshya was rested against Canada and then he went on to succumb to three consecutive defeats against the singles players from Chinese Taipei, Malaysia and Denmark.
It was learnt that Lakshya was suffering from food poisoning from the very beginning of the tournament and was not able to match up to his truest potential. Indian men's badminton team coach Vimal Kumar said, "We had kept it very secret, but Lakshya was suffering from food poisoning. He was even sick during the entire flight to Bangkok from Hyderabad. We could only give two days of rest for him and forced him to play against Germany."
Though Lakshya Sen managed to ease past his first opponent Weisskirchen, he had to be rested against Canada, where young Priyanshu Rajawat stepped in his place and defeated Victor Lai.
Lakshya, who defeated Ginting on Sunday, was initially a game down, but he was turned himself in just the nick of time to turn things around and switch it up putting India first. Though the first game was a one-sided affair, Sen regained his confidence back to showcase his usual form from second game onwards. "I was very disappointed by the way he played the first game. But he was confident I am sure. He had defeated Ginting earlier in the German Open. It showed his temperament. I am simply proud of him," concludes Kumar.
Fingers were pointed at Lakshya's performance throughout the week, but knowing about his sickness, the young Sen would certainly be happy shutting his detractors down when India needed him the most.