Badminton’s New Poster Boy: Sen-sational Lakshya Hits Bullseye At CWG 2022
Birmingham: He is the new poster boy of Indian badminton. Lakshya Sen is.
The boy from Almora, who will turn 21 in a week’s time, showed why he’s being considered to be the next big star in men’s badminton by winning gold in the Commonwealth Games 2022 with a hard-fought victory over Malaysia’s Ng Tze Yong in the final here on Monday.
Having lost the opening game narrowly by a wafer-thin margin, Lakshya launched a stirring comeback to turn the gold-medal clash on its head. After an hour and 21 minutes of riveting badminton, Lakshya won 19-21, 21-9, 21-16.
Despite trailing 0-1, Lakshya didn’t abandon his aggressive attitude. He smashed his way into the lead in both the second and third games. And though the Malaysian put up a strong fight and defended spiritedly, Lakshya always enjoyed a three or four-point cushion.
The Commonwealth Games gold added to Lakshya’s impressive array of results and medals in the last 18 months.
The former Youth Olympics silver-medallist and Junior World Championship bronze winner helped India lift the prestigious Thomas Cup earlier this year. He also clinched bronze in last year’s BWF World Championship.
And now, in Birmingham, he has added the mixed team silver and individual singles gold in his kitty.
The twin singles badminton golds – including PV Sindhu’s women’s singles triumph earlier in the day – took India’s tally gold tally to 20. G Sathiyan added a bronze with a hard-fought 4-3 win over England’s Paul Drinkhall in the third-place match of men’s singles table tennis.
Locked in a close fight with New Zealand, India are currently in fourth place with 20 gold, 15 silver and 23 bronze for an aggregate of 58 medals.