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Badminton

Lakshya Sen and Vandana Katariya feature in Forbes India '30 under 30'

India's young badminton sensation Lakshya Sen and the experienced women's hockey player Vandana Katariya feature in Forbes India's '30 under 30' list for the year 2022.

Lakshya Sen and Vandana Katariya feature in Forbes 30 under 30 (Source: Forbes)
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Lakshya Sen and Vandana Katariya feature in Forbes 30 under 30 (Source: Forbes)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Feb 2022 9:42 AM GMT

India's young badminton sensation Lakshya Sen and seasoned women's hockey player Vandana Katariya have been featured in the prestigious list of Forbes India 30 under 30 2022.

Forbes 30 Under 30 is a set of people under 30 years issued annually by Forbes magazine and some of its regional editions. The list features the hustlers and disruptors of India who are under the age of 30 and have become the epitome of success that Indians look up to.

Lakshya Sen had a tremendous year to look back to in 2021. Apart from PV Sindhu's medal in the Olympics, and Srikanth Kidambi's World Championship silver, India didn't have much to show in the sport last year. Lakshya broke into the scene like a superstar who kept improving every time he stepped on the court. He reached finals of the Dutch open but lost to Loh Kean Yew 12-21, 16-21.

Lakshya Sen (Source: Forbes)
Lakshya Sen (Source: Forbes)

He reached the semifinals of the year ending the World tour final, crashed out to Dene Vicktor Axelsen. And then literally came into his own, showing great fighting spirit, resilience, awesome defence and court coverage, innovative strokes and patience in attacking. In the world championships, his first test was against Nishimoto of Japan which he won 22-20/15-21/21-18. Another test if character came against top Chinese Zhao Jun Peng in quarterfinals, where he hit some brilliant net taps to cage in Zhao and run away with a scintillating but hard fought victory 21-15/ 15-21/ 22-20. In the semifinals, Lakshya gave Kidambi a run for the money which lasted into a epic battle of 21-17,14-21,17-2. He eventually became the youngest Indian to win a World Championship medal, a bronze.

Speaking about the 20-year-old, Forbes wrote:

At 20, Sen is leading the charge for Indian men's badminton on the world stage. In 2021, he became the youngest Indian to qualify for BWF World Tour Finals, a sparring ground for the top eight shuttlers for the year. He followed it up with a bronze at the prestigious BWF World Championships, emulating mentor Prakash Padukone

Vandana Katariya, on the other hand, proved herself as an undisputed queen of Indian women's hockey, who was an intrinsic part of India's historic campaign at the Tokyo Olympics where they reached the semifinals, following causing an upset to the mighty Australian. Katariya became the first Indian woman to score a hat-trick in an Olympic match after she netted three past the South African defence.

After the women's hockey team lost the bronze medal match at the Olympics, a few people had hurled casteist slurs on Katariya's family in Haridwar. According to the hockey player's brother, Chandrashekhar Kataria, two men and some more unknown persons hurled "abusive remarks, blamed Vandana and Dalit players for being responsible for the defeat."

Describing her achievements, Forbes wrote:

The women's hockey team finished fourth at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and it was a victory in defeat for the team which had finished last at the 2016 Rio Games. Katariya, the forward, was a star performer who scored a hat-trick against South Africa. She made her debut for India in 2010. "She's a true fighter", Mir Ranjan Negi, former assistant coach to the team, said.

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