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Lakshya wins Asia Jr Badminton C’ship title

NEW DELHI: Lakshya Sen on Sunday became only the third Indian shuttler to secure a gold medal at the Asia Junior Championships after defeating reigning world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in straight games in the finals at Jakarta.
The sixth seeded Indian from Uttarakhand, who had won a bronze medal in the last edition of the competition, notched up 21-19, 21-18 upset win over Vitidsarn in the summit clash that clocked 46 minutes.
“I am happy to win the tournament. It will boost my confidence. I played in the team event and then in the individual event, so it was a long tournament. The focus was on recovering well after each match and I am happy I could play well and win,” Lakshya told PTI.
“I got a very good support from team members as well. This Asian Junior gold is precious to me. “The win against second-seed Chinese the other night helped me.
I carried my confidence further and beat the fourth-seed in the semi-finals. And today, I played my natural game to beat Kunlavut. Since it was our first meeting, I played freely without any pressure,” he added.
Late Gautam Thakkar (1965) and Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu (2012) had won the prestigious title earlier. Sindhu had won a bronze as well in 2011, while Sameer Verma won a silver and bronze in 2011 and 2012 and the pair Pranav Chopra/Prajkta Sawant bagged a bronze in 2009.
Lakshya has been sensational in the tournament as he stunned second seed Chinese Li Shifeng, fourth seed Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in the semifinals and top seed Vitidsarn in the final. “It was very hectic. In fact, ahead of the tournament I had to tweak my training a bit as I had suffered shin splints. (PTI)

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