16-Year-Old Lakshya Wins Bulgaria Open International Series


New Delhi (PTI): Young Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen today clinched the Bulgaria Open International Series title after notching up a hard-fought win over Croatia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak in the men’s singles final in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Uttarakhand shuttler, who celebrated his 16th birthday yesterday, defeated second seed Zvonimir 18-21 21-12 21-17 in a 57-minute match. He had beaten Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratna 21-19 21-14 in the semi-finals yesterday.

World Junior No 1 was recently sent to train under former All England champion Peter Gade, who is currently the head coach of French national team.

Lakshya, who had reached the finals of Senior National championship in February.

“It is a creditable achievement for Lakshya. He is still a junior but he has been able to win tournaments and that is a good sign. We had sent five players on a 10-day training trip with the French national team. He trained under the great Peter Gade and it has benefitted him,” coach Vimal Kumar told PTI.

“He had a good tournament. He beat the top seed Sam Parsons in the first round. He won the junior National and also was finalist at Senior Nationals this year and it gave him a lot of confidence to beat top players like HS Prannoy.

So I feel if groomed properly, he does have a great future,” Kumar said.

Asked what are the upcoming tourneys that Lakshya would be playing, Vimal said: “He is concentrating on his strength.

We have former national champion Sayali Gokhale attached to him and she travels with him.

“In two months time, he will be playing Vietnam Grand Prix and then it would be junior World championship,” he added.

Last year, the Indian had won the India International Series and clinched a bronze at the CPB Badminton and Sports Science Training Center in Thailand.


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