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Badminton

Lakshya Sen, a beacon of hope for India

A livewire on the court, Lakshya Sen will be a medal prospect for India at the Paris Olympics.

Lakshya Sen, a beacon of hope for India
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Lakshya Sen is currently ranked 14th in the world. (Photo Credit: Badminton Photo/BWF)

By

Megha Anna Martin

Updated: 29 Jun 2024 1:47 PM GMT

World No. 14 Lakshya Sen is a bright hope for India at any big event. A livewire on the court and a well-equipped shuttler, Lakshya will be a medal prospect for India at the Paris Olympics, given that he is achieving consistency.

Born on August 16, 2001, in the serene town of Almora in Uttarakhand, Lakshya's badminton roots run deep.

His grandfather was a national-level player, and his father, D. K. Sen, is a coach at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, making badminton a family legacy.

Recognizing his potential early on, his father imparted him the early training before sending him to the PPBA at the age of ten.

By 15, he had already made history as the youngest player to reach the Indian national men's singles final, signalling the rise of a new star in Indian badminton.

Lakshya's journey to the Paris Olympics is a testament to his dedication, determination and talent.

Securing his spot by finishing 13th in the Road to Paris rankings with 64,021 points, Lakshya ensured India's participation in the men's singles.

Despite facing fitness issues, triggered a nose surgery in 2022 due to a deviated nasal septum that affected his health and fitness, Lakshya's resilience and determination saw him through.

The rise of Lakshya

Lakshya's growth as an athlete has been remarkable. In 2018, he claimed the gold medal at the Asian Junior Championships in boys' singles and contributed to a gold medal win in the mixed team event at the Summer Youth Olympics.

His success on the international stage continued with a bronze medal at the 2021 World Championships and a runner-up finish at the 2022 All-England Open.

He also played a pivotal role in India's historic Thomas Cup triumph in May 2022.

As part of the Indian men's team, Lakshya was instrumental in leading India to victory against Indonesia with a resounding 3โ€“0 win in the final.

Facing off against Olympic bronze medalist Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, Lakshya delivered an outstanding performance, securing a crucial win that significantly contributed to India's overall victory.

His remarkable form and determination were instrumental in India clinching the prestigious title, showcasing his talent, resilience, and commitment to Indian badminton.

He also became only the second Indian since Pullela Gopichand in 2001 to play the All-England Open final.

Lakshya's recent form has been impressive as well. At the French Open Super 750, he defeated the 2021 French Open champion Kanta Tsuneyama, third seed Li Shi Feng, and former world champion Loh Kean Yew.

He also reached the final of the prestigious All-England Open and played a crucial role in India's victory against Indonesia in the Thomas Cup final. Recently, at the Indonesia Masters, he won his first competitive match since beating the current World No. 2 Shi Yu Qi at the Asian Games.

Fighting through illness

However, Lakshya's journey has not been without challenges. After the 2022 World Championships, he underwent nose surgery, leading to frequent health issues and a poor performance in 2023.

However, Lakshya has been enhancing his fitness, and his progress has become noticeable. Back-to-back semifinal finishes at the French Open and All-England tournaments enabled him to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

As Lakshya Sen looks ahead, his immediate focus is on fine-tuning his skills as the Paris Olympics presents a big chance for him.

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