You must have read 20-year-old Lakshya Sen’s name at many places over the last couple of days. His achievement warrants that too. He became the 5th Indian shuttler to qualify for All England Championships on March 19 by defeating defending champion Lee Zii on March 19th.
You are second to none, @lakshya_sen. You have won a billion hearts.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 20, 2022
Congratulations for a wonderful performance. You have done India 🇮🇳 proud!
My best wishes for your future endeavours. pic.twitter.com/SgPhNtLPZg
You’ve made every Indian incredibly proud by reaching the All-England Final, Lakshya Sen.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) March 20, 2022
We shall all be cheering for you tonight! 🏸 #AllEngland2022 pic.twitter.com/Pow6jiwxVp
The shuttlers to achieve this feat before Lakshya, were: Saina Nehwal, Prakash Nath, Prakash Padukone, and Pullela Gopichand.
Lakshya couldn’t win the final but that does not take away from his accomplishment. Here is all you need to know about the athlete.
Born in 2001, he took on Badminton at a very early age and was the winner of the bronze medal at the Asian Junior Championships in 2016. This did not satisfy his hunger, though and he claimed the top spot 2 years later.
A decade back when we started supporting a tiny @lakshya_sen, & shifted him to PPBA Bangalore, Prakash Padukone sir told me that one day this boy will conquer the world. I laughed. But he obviously wasn’t joking. @OGQ_India @ppbaindia @Sports_PDCSE pic.twitter.com/R8cZyrLv35— Viren Rasquinha (@virenrasquinha) March 19, 2022
Apart from this, he won silver at the singles event at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 and a gold at the mixed event.
In 2021, he gave tough competition to Kidambi Srikanth, one of India’s top badminton players, and almost earned a seat for the World Championships final. Srikanth inched past him though and gave a stellar performance in the tournament, ending his stint as a runner-up. Lakshya, on the other hand, won a bronze.
In past one month Lakshya Sen has defeated Olympic Champion, World Champion and now All England Champion. Now into the finals of All England open. What a rising star 💫#LakshyaSen #Semifinal #badminton #TeamIndia— Kshitij Kulshreshtha (@kshitijkulsh) March 19, 2022
After the win, he told Scroll:
Feels quite good. From a tournament point of view, how I played in the matches and got the bronze… I am quite happy. The match against Srikanth bhaiya was heartbreaking because I was so close in the third game, it was a tough defeat. But also bronze medal means I have something to look forward to. It’ll give me confidence for the future… and now I will try to definitely better my results in the coming years. There are other major tournaments too next year.
This was only the beginning of Lakshya’s senior career as he won the India Open in 2022. Because after that, he won silver at the German Open and has continued an outstanding run with the All England Championships. If he had won the tournament, he would have been the 3rd India to come back with the honour. It wasn’t meant to be but Lakshya is getting the praise he deserves.
The love for badminton runs in Lakshya’s family as his father is a coach while his brother, Chirag Sen, is also a player. In fact, it was Chirag, the elder of the two, who took up the sport first. A very young Lakshya would accompany his brother to the tournament, and that is where he first saw the competition up close.
Lakshya received his training at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, one of the country’s best, and was ranked number one singles player in the BWF World Junior ranking. This was a big accomplishment and an early sign of what was coming our way.
Well done @lakshya_sen. So proud of you. No doubt that your time is here.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) March 20, 2022
The way Lakshya has been performing at the international events, we already have a champion to look up to. Can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.