The 15-year-old shuttler from Almora, Lakshya Sen, created history on Thursday after he became the number one junior singles badminton player in the world in the latest rankings of the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
Lakshya is the first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the numero uno spot at the international level. Lakshya, who is considered as the shining future star of Indian badminton, moved ahead of Chia Hao Lee of the Chinese Taipei, to attain the top spot.According to BWF current rankings, Lakshya has 16,903 points in eight tournaments he has played in the season while Chia Hao, who is at the second spot, has 16,091 points.
The Almora, Uttarakhand boy, who has been training at Bangalore’s Prakash Padukone Academy, has benefitted from his regular sparring sessions with Indian star Saina Nehwal with whom he trains, and reached the top of the rankings in the list released on Thursday. Son of a SAI coach, Sen joined the Bangalore Academy when he was only 10 and receives personal attention from Padukone. Winner of u-19 touraments in Switzerland and Denmark, as well as international series in Pune and Hyderabad, the reigning junior national champion, won bronze at the Asian Juniors last July and is ranked No 212 on the seniors circuit.His biggest challenge will come at Yogyakarta, Indonesia, later this year, which will host the Junior World Championships. Olympic medallists Chen Long, Viktor Axelsen and Japanese wonderkid Kento Momota were all junior world champions, while Saina Nehwal is India’s only junior world champ. Sen’s older brother Chirag, also plays shuttle. He has been supported for long by Olympic Gold Quest and has benefitted from the funding, with regards to exposure to international tournaments – often playing dozens of tournaments abroad, as well as aided by physios and trainers. Sen, alongwith Siril and Aditya, are the trio to look forward to, as they make a charge at the topmost junior titles currently held by China.