Exclusive: Targeting Asian Games and CWG medals in 2022, says Lakshya Sen
The youngster recently won a bronze in men’s singles at the BWF World Championships.
One of the brightest stars in Indian badminton, Lakshya Sen has already written his name in the history books. The 20-year-old recently won the bronze medal at the highly competitive BWF World Championships. His achievement was one of the key highlights for Indian badminton in 2021. By doing so, Lakshya became only the fourth male shuttler to win a medal at the World Championships for India.
Since his bronze medal win, Sen has received several honours in India. The promising youngster has already shown his qualities and will certainly win more accolades in the future. In a candid conversation with Khel Now recently, Lakshya Sen gave an insight into his career, motivations and plans for the future.
Development of interest in badminton
Talking in the context of his early days, Lakshya Sen said that his love for badminton stems from his family. “My father is a coach and my grandfather used to play so I picked up the sport after watching them from an early age. My elder brother also plays badminton, and the influence from my home has been big,” he said.
“The support has been great since my childhood. Since my father is a coach, he knew what are the requirements of a player and mother was also very supportive. They did not pressurize me into studies a lot,” Sen revealed.
Preparations ahead of the BWF World Championships
Winning a medal at the BWF World Championships is definitely not an easy task. “We played a lot of matches back to back in the last season, and there was no rest in between. Since this was a major tournament, we were playing regularly and the match rhythm was good. It was physically demanding but the prestige of the tournament was a motivating factor,” Lakshya Sen said when asked about his preparations for the big tournament.
“Since it was my first time playing in the World Championships, it was a new experience and the pressure was less. Before the tournament began, the idea was to win the whole thing. But then, we were taking it one match at a time. Although I was disappointed after the result, it was a proud feeling to win the medal,” the shuttler added.
Experience of playing with Kidambi Srikanth
The semi-final clash between Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth at the BWF World Championships was historic as it was the first all Indian semi-final at the tournament. Describing his experience of clashing with his compatriot, Sen said, “I have played a lot with him during practices and we practice together while travelling for tournaments. Therefore, there was an idea of how to play and approach the match,” he said.
“The preparations were more or less the same for both of us. On the day of the match, we both played to win the contest and the match was like any other. It was a proud moment that two Indian players were vying for the spot in the final. It was the first time that Indian men got two medals in the same BWF World Championships and that was a good outcome,” he added.
On missing the ticket to the Tokyo Olympics
Lakshya Sen was not part of the Indian contingent at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, owing to tournaments getting cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and his injuries. Speaking on missing the tournament, Sen lamented and said that, “It was a time when tournaments were getting cancelled and there was a disappointment because they were a way to qualify for the Olympics. Last year, I was also dealing with a few injuries. Since then, I was very motivated to play in these tournaments and to perform to the best of my abilities.”
“This, however, motivated me to perform even better in future tournaments, and perhaps acted as a factor in my medal win at the BWF World Championships,” he explained.
Importance of the bronze medal
Lakshya Sen was grateful for the bronze medal and believes it was a good way to pull the curtains on a long season. “The feeling when I stood on the podium was something very special. Winning a medal on my very first BW World Championship has been a memorable achievement,” he said.
“This season was a very long one and there were many decent performances, but winning a bronze at the end of it felt well. We were trying our best at all the tournaments and the ending was a good one. This is very motivating ahead of the upcoming challenges,” he added.
The 20-year-old is extremely gifted and has huge potential to unlock. All eyes will be on his upcoming performances, to which he said, “The next tournaments start from January onwards with the India Open. I will prepare for them and want to train well and play well in all the major upcoming tournaments like the All England Championship. Moreover, in the upcoming year, I am targeting medals at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I am trying to get as much experience as possible before the upcoming Olympics,” he quipped.
“My ultimate target is to win a medal at the Paris Olympics,” he concluded.