Badminton: Lakshya and Srikanth secure India a place in final
PETALING JAYA: It’s a rare feat, but India’s young and old made it a glorious day by booking a ticket to the men’s singles final at the World Championships.
This was made possible after their 20-year-old Lakshya Sen and former K. Srikanth made it an all-Indian affair in the semi-finals today after beating their respective opponents in the quarter-finals in contrasting styles at Huelva, Spain, yesterday. .
Lakshya’s fierce determination led him to beat China’s Zhao Junpeng 21-15, 15-21, 22-20 in a 67-minute game that went on the wire. The two were tied 19-19, but it was the young Indian who came out on top to claim his impressive career victory.
He is the youngest Indian player to reach the semi-finals of a world event.
Srikanth, 28, seeded 12th, took just 26 minutes to beat Holland’s Mark Caljouw 21-8, 21-7.
A day earlier, he had shown the same tenacity to take out rising Chinese star Lu Guangzu 21-10, 21-15.
Said Srikanth, who has yet to win a medal at the world championships: “I’ve always had that motivation for any big event, but I really couldn’t do well at the world championships as much as I can. would like. But again, this year is a new year, it’s a new tournament, new conditions, it’s about going out there and doing your best.
“After 2017 and half of 2018 I was playing well and although I had a few injuries here and there, I was just pushing really hard.
“I’m just happy to be back in shape. I’m on this path to a good future, ”he added on the World Badminton Federation (BWF) website.
It is the first time that India will have a male representative in the final of the world championships and their performance certainly made up for the loss of PV Sindhu.
The defending champion lost 17-21, 13-21 to world No. 1 and seed Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan in the women’s singles quarterfinals earlier yesterday.