Upcoming teenage shuttler Lakshya Sen has planned to make the most out of a trip to Denmark this month.
Sen travelled with senior compatriots Kidambi Srikanth, Subhankar Dey, and Ajay Jayaram to Odense to play the Denmark Open, an event that is seeing the resumption of international badminton for the first time since the All England Open in March.
Sen’s first challenge will be to face 17-year-old Frenchman Christo Popov, a southpaw who is France’s youngest national champion, in the first round at the Denmark Open which begins on Tuesday, October 13.
However, the Super 750 event will not be the sole purpose for the 19-year-old’s long trip away from India.
Lakshya Sen will play a couple of matches for Danish club Aarhus and train at the Peter Gade Academy in Denmark before travelling to Germany to defend his title at the Super 100 SaarLorLux Open in the city of Saarbrucken. That event begins on October 27.
“Lakshya will also practise with the Danish national team till October 25. We felt the high-quality sparring in Denmark would do him a world of good,” coach U Vimal Kumar told The Times of India.
U Vimal Kumar, a former two-time national champion, is a head coach at the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru, where Lakshya Sen trains.
After the SaarLorLux Open ends on November 1, Sen will return to Denmark to continue training at the Peter Gade Academy until the end of November before returning to India.
Sen has also been invited to train at France’s national center during his time in Europe.
The extensive travel plan will mean that Sen will be on the road for at least two months, but he is eager to get back to competition mode.
“I'm just excited to be playing again. I've been training hard but only when I'm in a high-pressure match situation can I know how much progress I've made," Lakshya Sen told ESPN.
"My body feels good. I think I'm a lot fitter now than I was at the start of this year.”