Lakshya moves into final of Asia Junior Championships

Sixth-seeded Lakshya saw off Rumbay 21-7, 21-14 on the fourth day of the individual events.

In the summit clash on Sunday, Lakshya will meet top-seeded Indonesian Kunlavut Vitidsaran.   -  K. MURALI KUMAR

Rising Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen stormed into the finals after disposing of fourth-seed Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in the semifinals of the Asia Junior Championships at Jakarta on Saturday.

Sixth-seeded Lakshya, who stunned second seed Li Shifeng in the quarterfinals on Friday, saw off Rumbay 21-7, 21-14 on the fourth day of the individual events.

In the summit clash on Sunday, Lakshya will meet top-seeded Indonesian Kunlavut Vitidsaran, who defeated third-seeded Chinese Yupeng Bai, 21-14, 21-12 in another match.

"It feels good to be in the final. I am happy with the way I am playing now and hope to maintain the tempo in tomorrow’s final," said Lakshya after the semifinal.

The tempo was on his side as Lakshya reeled off points in quick succession in the first game. The nimble-heeled shuttler smashed anything tossed up to him by the local boy. So much so, Lakshya ran up a solid lead and was almost half way down when Rumbay picked up a few points to launch himself.

Though the entire match lasted 40 minutes, his first game was over in less than 16.

In the second game, however, Rumbay did well to resurrect himself. On a couple of occasions, he surprised the Indian with some good net-play and cross-court smashes. But Lakshya was quick enough to return the compliment.

Talking about the finals, Lakshya said: "I have never faced him before. But I will definitely try and give my best shot against the top-seed."

Indian shuttlers, who have won a medal at Asia Championship, include Gautam Thakkar (Gold) in 1965, Pranav Chopra/Prajkta Sawant (Bronze) in 2009, Sameer Verma (Silver) and P.V. Sindhu (Bronze) in 2011 and P.V. Sindhu (Gold) and Sameer Verma (Bronze) in 2012.