Lakshya ensures a medal for India, sails into semi-finals at Jakarta
New Delhi, July 21: Sixth-seeded Lakshya Sen caused one of the major upsets so far in the Badminton Asia Junior Championships when he toppled second-seeded Chinese, Li Shifeng 21-14, 21-12 to enter the men singles semi-finals on the third day of the individual events at Jakarta today.
Lakskya, who ensured himself with at least a bronze medal for him, will take on Indonesian and fourth seed Ikhsan Leonardo Rumbay in the semi-finals tomorrow.
However, the men doubles’ pair of Manjit Singh and Dingko Singh bowed out in the pre-quarters to top-seeded Chinese duo of Di Zijian and Wang Chang, the title favourites. The Chinese pair won 21-7, 21-15.
In the match-up between sixth-seeded Indian and second-seeded Chinese, the scales were tilted heavily in favour of the latter. But it was a bit of a surprise for Li who got the first jolt when the Indian thumped him so royally that he could not recover from the shock.
Employing his net-play to good effect and using half-court smashes assiduously Lakshya put his Chinese rival under lot of pressure. So much so, in a hurry to garner points, he was prone to committing mistakes. Cashing in on them perfectly, the Indian established a good lead to win.
In the second, it turned out to be a lot easier for Lakshya. He not only surged ahead with a sizeable lead but also saw the Chinese wilting under pressure quickly. In the end, it was the Indian all the way to romp home winners.
However, the semi-final showdown with the local may not be as easy. Yet, the way Lakshya has displayed his prowess, particularly against the second seed Chinese, his capability cannot be doubted against the Indonesian.
The Manjit-Dingko duo, who excelled themselves thus far, found the going really tough against the top-seeded Chinese pair. The way it took the first game, it was all over bar the shouting for the Indian pair. However, they showed character to fight it out in the second and stretched their rivals, much to their surprise.
On Thursday night, Lakshya beat Thai’s Saran Jamsiri 21-15, 21-16 to enter the quarterfinals even as Kiran George lost to Indonesian Alberto Alvin Yulianto. The seventh seed local lad won 21-19, 21-19 in a battle that lasted 46 minutes and saw a few good rallies. Priyanshu Rajawat also went down to Malaysian Tze Yong NG, the 15th seed, 15-21, 14-21.
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