Lakshya Sen pockets bronze at World Juniors

The 17-year-old, who had clinched the Asian Junior title this year, fought hard before going down 22-20, 16-21, 13-21 to Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand.

India’s Lakshya Sen settled for a bronze medal in the World Junior Badminton Championship after suffering a narrow defeat to top-seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the men’s singles semifinals here.

The 17-year-old from Almora, who had clinched the Asian Junior title this year, fought hard before going down 22-20, 16-21, 13-21 to Vitidsarn in a match that went on for an hour and 11 minutes on Saturday.

“I could not get into my usual rhythm, though I managed to win the first game. But he (Kunlavut) was too strong in the second. I could not play to my strong points and my opponent had all answers to my strokes,” said the world junior No. 3 shuttler.

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Lakshya, who was the last Indian hope in the tournament, began well and in what was a touch-and-go opening game, the Indian seized the opportunity past midway and sealed the extended game in his favour.

But the Thai came back strongly in the second game to level 1-1 and keep his chances alive.

The Indian, who lacked conviction after losing the second game, was unable to gather himself in the decider as the Thai ran up a good lead and maintained it throughout to secure a place in the final.

Saina Nehwal is the only Indian to have won a gold in the tournament during the 2008 Pune edition.

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