Lakshya Sen reaches World No. 1 in BWF Junior ranking

Lakshya Sen from Uttarakhand today achieved the World No. 1 ranking in the latest BWF World junior ranking. The 15-year-old also won the bronze medal at Junior Asian Championships and clinched the All India Senior Ranking Tournament at Arunachal Pradesh last year.

Sen has been training under the watchful eyes of 1980 All England champion Prakash Padukone at his Badminton Academy in Bangalore since he was 10.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Young shuttler Lakshya Sen from Uttarakhand today achieved the World No. 1 ranking in the latest BWF World junior ranking. The 15-year-old prodigy, who won the bronze medal at Junior Asian Championships and clinched the All India Senior Ranking Tournament at Arunachal Pradesh last year, jumped one place to reach the numero uno status.

"Proud that OGQ has supported him since he was 11. OGQ has provided a full time physio and trainer only for Lakshya and he is on a special diet as well," said Viren Rasquinha, CEO at Olympic Gold Quest and former India Hockey captain.

Sen, who hails from Almora district in Uttarakhand, has been training under the watchful eyes of 1980 All England champion Prakash Padukone at his Badminton Academy in Bangalore since he was 10.

In the senior circuit, Olympic silver medallist P. V. Sindhu resumed her World No. sixth position, while Saina Nehwal, who had clinched the season-opening Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold, was at the ninth spot in women's singles.

In men's singles, Sameer Verma jumped 10 spots to be placed at 25th position riding on his maiden Grand Prix Gold title at Syed Modi Internationals, but K. Srikanth slipped out of the top 20 after suffering a quarterfinal exit at Lucknow in the latest BWF World Ranking.

Srikanth, who has been nursing an ankle injury, had lost to compatriot B. Sai Praneeth in the quarterfinal at Lucknow. Ajay Jayaram is now the best-placed Indian at World No. 18, while H. S. Prannoy was at 24th spot.

Praneeth, who reached the final at Lucknow, jumped four places to reach the 32nd spot. A semifinal finish at Lucknow also saw Mumbai's Harsheel Dani improving seven places to reach the top 69th place.

In mixed doubles, N. SIkki Reddy and Pranaav Jerry Chopra, who clinched their maiden Grand Prix title at Syed Modi, jumped two places to World No. 14, while Ashwini Ponnappa and B. Sumeeth Reddy who stunned World No. 4 Danish pair of Christinna Pedersen and Joachim Nielsen Fischer to reach the final at Lucknow in only their second tournament together, jumped 379 places to be at the 137th place.

In men's doubles, Manu Attri and Sumeeth dropped one place to World No. 23.

Padukone hails Lakshya's effort, says can do much better

Badminton stalwart Prakash Padukone stated that Lakshya Sen should now focus on carrying his success into the senior ranks. Lakshya, whobecame the world’s best junior player, trains at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy here. The academy is run by Padukone, former national champion Vimal Kumar and former junior international Vivek Kumar.

“It is a good achievement, but he should not be satisfied. He has the potential to do much better, and should look to do well in the senior category gradually. Lakshya is a fast learner, especially in the tactical parts. He has the qualities of a champion. He is dedicated and physically strong. It is up to him to ensure that he does not get carried away,” Padukone said.

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