Lakshya Sen won his maiden medal at the World Junior Championship in Canada as he went down battling to World No. 1 Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the semi-finals. Contesting his third juniors tournament, Lakshya bagged the bronze medal after playing a lengthy hour and 11 minute contest where he finished second best. Vitidsarn won 20-22, 21-16, 21-13 in the marathon contest to level matters between the two players on head-to-head.
Sen, 17, had beaten the 17-year-old Vitidsarn in straight games in the final of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships in July but could not repeat his winning feat on Saturday in Markham, Canada.
Prior to this defeat, Lakshya had only dropped one game over the course of the tournament – to Chinese Taipei’s Shiau Cheng Chen – but couldn’t continue his winning run.
This is India’s only medal in this edition of the World Junior Championship and the first one since Sameer Verma also won a bronze in 2011. B Sai Praneeth and HS Prannoy had also won bronze in 2010, while Saina Nehwal had clinched gold in 2008.
Defending champion Vitidsarn no has an opportunity to defend his title when he takes on Kodai Naraoka in the final. The Japanese beat third seed Li Shifeng of China 21-11, 19-21, 21-17 in the day’s other semi-final.