Bengaluru, Feb 9: Lakshya Sen has become the world's best junior badminton player according to BWF World Junior ranking.
He is only the second Indian to achieve such a feat after legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone who was the world's best junior player, 40 years ago.
15-year-old Lakshya Sen missed another feat by a whisker in the recently concluded national badminton championship.
He had to be content with the runner-up trophy, losing to Sourav Verma in the senior final. Otherwise, Lakshya would have been the first senior national champion at the age of 15 years after Prakash Padukone.
Still, the boy did not seem disappointed. Rather, playing in the senior final as well as earning World number one in the junior ranking seems to have raised Lakshya’s vigor.
Speaking to the media, he said: “My dream is to reach the stature of legendary Prakash sir. He is my all.
"So, this has been a big boost that I have reached the final of the senior national championship, defeating a top player like HS Prannoy. “
Lakshya’s father Birendra Sen is himself a badminton coach of Sports Authority of India (SAI) at Almora.
His dream was to make his son a player like the legendary Prakash Padukone. So, he sent his son to Bangalore to Prakash Padukone Academy when Lakshya’s age was only eight years.
Mr. Sen, speaking on his son said: “Lakshya’s one and only aim is to win All England Badminton Championship and earn World’s number one ranking in the senior level in future.
"I do not know whether he will be able to reach that height really, but one thing Lakshya has. That is the passion for the game.”
Vimal Kumar, who is also one of the chief coaches at Prakash Padukone Academy in Bangalore, seems optimistic about the future of his academy’s most promising student.
Vimal said: “After completing practice Lakshya spends most of the time by watching Prakash training and his golden matches on the internet.
"Recently, Lakshya has also been training with Saina Nehwal. So, I hope Lakshya will one day reach within the top ten in the World in the senior also.”