Shuttler Lakshya Sen settles for silver in Youth Olympics

In the both the games Lakshya Sen put up a good fight but went down in two set to Li Shifeng, who had the lead all through the match.

Lakshya Sen got the better of Li Shifeng in the quarterfinals of the Asian Championships in July but lost to the Chinese in the Youth Olympics final. [File photo]   -  K. Murali Kumar

Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen settled for a silver medal after he lost the men’s singles summit clash against Li Shifeng of China in straight games in the Youth Olympics here on Friday.

Sen, the reigning junior Asian champion, lost 15-21, 19-21 in a 42-minute final match to bag the silver. He had beaten Shifeng in straight games in the quarterfinals of the Asian Championships in July but, on Friday, it was the turn of his Chinese rival to turn the tables on him.

In the both the games, Shifeng led all through and Sen was playing catch-up which he eventually could not succeed in the end.

In the first game, Shifeng raced to a 14-5 early lead but Sen made a fine recovery to narrow down the gap to 13-16. He could not sustain it though and Shifeng made it 20-14 to have six game points. The Chinese then took the first game, which lasted just 17 minutes.

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The second game was a closer fight than the first but the Chinese was leading throughout. Shifeng was ahead 8-7 initially but the gap widened to 12-7 before Sen made it 11-14. The three-point gap remained for some time before the Chinese made it 18-14 and then 19-14.

Sen made a last-ditch effort to save the match by winning three straight points but Shifeng made it 20-17 to have three match points.

Sen did not throw in the towel as he reeled off two straight points to make it 19-20 and was just one point away from a deuce.

However, Shifeng won the final point to win the second game and the match, clinching the gold medal.

This was India’s fourth silver along with three gold in the ongoing Youth Olympics.