Youth Olympics: Lakshya Sen reaches men’s badminton final

first_imgLakshya Sen assured India of at least a silver when he entered the final of men’s singles badminton competition at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires on Thursday.Title favourite Sen defeated second seed Kodai Naraoka of Japan 14-21, 21-15, 24-22Sen, the reigning Asian junior champion, lost the first game 14-21 but came back to beat Naraoka in the next two to pocket the semifinal match Thursday night. The Indian levelled the match by winning the second game 21-15.The deciding game was an rollercoaster where the reigns of the match felt from one racket to the other. The game eventually went into the deuce and Sen eventually won it 24-22 after a 36-minute tussle.Mesmerizing!An unbelievable 79-shot rally between @lakshya_sen and Kodai Naraoka in the #badminton semifinals at #BuenosAires2018!Watch the @youtholympics live Channel (@olympicchannel) October 11, 2018Lakshya Sen began the decider in a mesmerising fashion where Naraoka just could not find his ground against the Indian.With excellent smashes and some delightful drop shots, couple with a few net errors from Naraoka, Sen raced to an 11-0 lead at the break.After the break, Naraoka came right back in the match and took six straight points to make it 11-6.However, Sen found his game once more after that and giving away just two points, he took the seven points to make it 18-8.It was after this that Naraoka turned the match on its head. Naraoka suddenly found a bundle of energy and got back everything that Sen threw at him.advertisementForcing errors out of Lakshya, Naraoke stormed into the match in some fashion as he won nine straight points to reduce Sen’s lead to just a point.After that, there were a few nervous moments for the Indian as Naraoka levelled the game at 19-19 but Sen moved up with a booming smash to take the first match point.Naraoka saved the match point with a solid smash himself and the won a match point for himself.Thereafter, Sen managed a half-smash to save the match point and then earned a couple of match points to seal the match on his third as Naraoka struck the net.Sen will now meet Li Shifeng of China in the final.If Sen wins the final match, he will become the first Indian gold medallist shuttler in the Youth Olympics. Prannoy Kumar had won a silver in the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010.(With inputs from PTI)last_img

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