Lakshya Sen, the new poster boy of Indian badminton

In his short career, Lakshya Sen has won a world championship bronze and a Youth Olympics silver medal.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by Badminton Association of India

Lakshya Sen’s rapid rise in the world of badminton has been nothing short of meteoric.

From being a kid who was competing at the junior level not too long ago, Lakshya Sen has now beaten the legends of the sport and won medals at the highest level, emerging as the poster boy of Indian badminton.

The young shuttler’s stock rose exponentially in 2021 as Lakshya Sen started surprising higher-ranked opponents regularly and reached the podium consistently.

Only 20, Lakshya Sen has been impressive from the early stages of his career. He first tasted glory in 2014 when he won the Swiss Junior International.

From that tournament in Basel to this day, the young shuttler has won a plethora of trophies and medals. Here’s a look back at Lakshya Sen’s achievements.

Gold medal at Asian Junior Championships 2018

Lakshya Sen had been grabbing headlines in the junior circuit for quite some time and had become the junior world No. 1 in February 2017.

After faltering in the semi-finals of the 2016 Asian Junior Championships, Lakshya Sen went into the 2018 event in Jakarta, Indonesia as the sixth seed.

The Indian dominated at the event before meeting junior world champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn from Thailand in a fiercely contested final. 

Lakshya Sen managed to prevail 21-19, 21-18 to win the Asian Junior Championship for the first time. It made him the first Indian to win the junior continental title in 53 years. Gautam Thakkar had achieved the feat back in 1965.

Silver medal at Youth Olympics 2018

Expectations were high from Lakshya Sen after his triumph at the continental event.

Seeded fourth at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games in 2018, Lakshya Sen topped his group by beating all three opponents in straight games to book a berth in the quarter-finals.

Sen brushed aside Ikhsan Rumbay in the quarters before facing a stiff challenge from Kodai Naraoka in the semis. The Indian dropped the opening game but bounced back in the next two to make the Youth Olympics final.

The Indian stumbled into Li Shifeng but this time it was the Chinese that came out on top as Lakshya Sen settled for a silver.

Lakshya Sen’s impressive run continued at the World Junior Championships 2018, where he won a bronze medal.

First BWF World Tour title at Dutch Open 2019

Just before the world came to a standstill due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lakshya Sen came into international prominence, moving on from Challenge level tournaments to the BWF World Tour.

Lakshya Sen’s first win in a BWF World Tour event came at the Dutch Open 2019. He was unseeded in the tournament.

The Indian defeated Pan American champions Ygor Coelho from Brazil and Cuba’s Osleni Guerrero before fighting off Japanese talent Yusuke Onodera in the final of the Super 100 event.

The Indian shuttler went on to clinch back-to-back Super 100 tournaments, with a victory at the Saarlorlux Open. The triumphs helped Lakshya Sen break into the top 50 of the badminton world rankings for the first time.

Bronze medal at BWF World Championships 2021

In 2021, Lakshya Sen started reaching the business end of major tournaments consistently and challenged the biggest names on the circuit.

After finishing third at the BWF World Tour Final, Lakshya Sen continued his impressive run at the 2021 world championships in Huelva, Spain.

Making his debut at the world championships, the unseeded Lakshya Sen beat 15th seed Kenta Nishimoto, Tokyo Olympics semi-finalist Kevin Cordon and Asian medallist Zhao Jun Peng to reach the semis.

The dream run, however, ended in the semi-finals with a defeat to compatriot and former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth.

Since both losing semi-finalists were awarded a bronze, Lakshya Sen became the fourth Indian man to win a badminton world championship medal.

Silver medal at All England Open 2022

Lakshya Sen added another medal to his fast-filling cabinet with a historic second-place finish at the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships 2022. He went into the tournament as the No. 1 Indian men’s badminton player.

Sen beat world bronze medallist Anders Antonsen and defending champion Lee Zii Jia to set up the title decider against world No. 1 and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

A week before the final, Lakshya Sen had beaten Axelsen at the German Open and put up another valiant fight at the All England Open final.

Axelsen, however, was too strong for the young Indian and ended up winning the title. Nevertheless, Laskhya Sen earned plaudits from across the sporting fraternity for his impressive campaign.

Lakshya Sen played an integral role in India’s maiden Thomas Cup triumph in May 2022, beating Olympic bronze medallist Anthony Ginting of Indonesia in the final.

Lakshya Sen’s achievements

Year Tournament Result
2022 Thomas Cup Winner
2022 All England Open Runner-up
2022 German Open Runner-up
2022 India Open Winner
2021 BWF World Championships Bronze
2021 Dutch Open Runner-up
2019 SaarLorLux Open Winner
2019 Dutch Open Winner
2019 Bangladesh International Winner
2019 Scottish Open Winner
2019 Belgian International Winner
2019 Polish Open Runner-up
2018 India International Winner
2017 India International Runner-up
2017 India International Series Winner
2017 Bulgarian Open Winner
2016 India International Series Winner

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