India’s Lakshya Sen caused an upset of sorts in the Badminton Asia Junior Championships on Friday when he toppled the second-seeded Chinese Li Shifeng 21-14, 21-12 to enter the boys’ singles semi-finals in Jakarta.
In a match-up between the sixth-seeded Indian and second-seeded Chinese, the scales were tilted heavily in favour of the latter. But it was Li who got the first jolt when the Indian thumped him in the first game, employing his net-play to good effect and using half-court smashes assiduously.
Under pressure, the Chinese was in a hurry to garner points and committed mistakes. Cashing in on them perfectly, the Indian established a good lead to win the first game. In the second game, it turned out to be a lot easier for Sen. He not only surged ahead with a sizeable lead but also saw the Chinese wilting under pressure quickly. In the end, the Indian romped home winners to seal his progress.
By doing so, Sen ensured himself of at least a bronze medal. The 16-year-old will take on the fourth seeded Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Rumbay in the semi-finals.
The Indian boys’ doubles pair of Manjit Singh and Dingku Singh bowed out in the quarters to the top-seeded Chinese duo of Di Zijian and Wang Chang, who are the title favourites. The Chinese pair won 21-7, 21-15.
Manjit and Dingku found the going really tough against the top seeds. The way the Chinese took the first game, it looked like the match would be over in a jiffy. However, the Indians showed character to fight it out in the second game and stretched their rivals a bit more, but could not force a decider.