Youth Olympic Games: Lakshya Sen Qualifies for Men’s Singles Badminton Final, Assures India of Seventh Medal
Lakshya Sen emerged on top in a thrilling men’s singles badminton semi-final at the Youth Olympic Games against second seed Kodai Naraoka in Buenos Aires on Thursday.
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Sen defeated Naraoka 14-21, 21-15, 24-22 to guarantee India of their seventh medal in the youth multi-nation sporting event.
While the first game saw the Indian struggle to cope with his opponent’s power-based game, Sen took the second game after finding his rhythm.
However, he had to survive some nervy moments in the decider that included him blowing two big leads before having to save a match point in the 75-minute long match.
Sen had taken what looked like an unassailable 11-0 lead in the third game but Naraoka rallied back hard. The Indian then took an 18-8 lead then saw the Japanese shuttler level the game at 19-19.
Sen then saw two match points saved by Naraoka before he capitalised on the third to end the game at 24-22.
Sen will go up against fifth seed Shifeng Li of China in the summit clash on Friday. This will be India’s second badminton medal at the Youth Olympics after HS Prannoy won the silver medal in Singapore in 2010.
Sen will hope to go one better and end the tournament standing atop the podium.