Focus on Ajay Jayaram after Lakshya pulls out of Vietnam Open

Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen pulled out of the Vietnam Open after failing to recover from shin splint injuries.

All eyes will be on young gun Lakshya Sen. File picture   -  K. Murali Kumar

Asian junior champion Lakshya Sen on Monday pulled out of the Vietnam Open after failing to recover from shin splint injuries.

“Lakshya has pulled out as he still has pain from the shin splint injuries. After coming back from Asian Junior, he was feeling the pain in both legs during the practice,” Lakshya’s mentor and former national coach Vimal Kumar told PTI.

“We consulted the physio. Heath Matthews (physio) takes care of him, so they have gone to Mumbai. An MRI will be done to see how to go about it,” he added.

The 16-year-old from Uttarakhand had ended India’s 53-year long wait for a men’s singles gold when he clinched the title at the Asia Junior championship last month. In Lakshya’s absence, senior shuttler Ajay Jayaram, who finished runners-up at the White Nights International Challenge, will carry India’s hopes and he will begin his campaign against local player Le Duc Phat.

Mithun Manjunath, who had reached the semifinals of the Russian Open, will play a yet-to-be-decided qualifier.

Abhishek Yeligar will face Mauritius’ Georges Julien Paul, and Shreyansh Jaiswal will also take on a qualifier. Rahul Yadav Chittaboina will square off against the experienced Tien Minh Nguyen.

Siddharth Pratap Singh will fight it out with Chinese Taipei’s Lu Chia Hung, Kartikey Gulshan Kumar will clash with Indonesia’s Shesar Hiren Rhustavito and Bodhit Joshi will meet Thailand’s Adulrach Namkul.

In women’s singles, Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games, will face Malaysia’s Yin Fun Lim.

Mugdha Agrey will test her skills against seventh seed Han Yue of China, while Vaidehi Choudhari meets USA’s Crystal Pan and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli faces Indonesia’s Yulia Yosephin Susanto. Rasika Raje will be up against a qualifer in the opening round.

Second-seeded women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S. Ram will face a pair from the qualifying round, while Poorvisha will again pair up with Shivam Sharma as they take on Tadayuki Urai and Rena Miyaura.