Shut­tler Lak­shya bags sil­ver in Youth Olympics

The Free Press Journal - - FPJ SPORTS -

Promis­ing In­dian shut­tler Lak­shya Sen set­tled for a sil­ver medal af­ter he lost the men’s sin­gles sum­mit clash against Li Shifeng of China in straight games at the Youth Olympics here.

Sen, the reign­ing ju­nior Asian cham­pion, lost 15-21, 19-21 in a 42-minute fi­nal match to bag the sil­ver. He had beaten Shifeng in straight games in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Asian Cham­pi­onships in July but on Fri­day evening, it was the turn of the Chi­nese to turn the ta­bles on the 17-year-old.

In both the games, Shifeng led all through and Sen was play­ing catch-up, even­tu­ally fail­ing to suc­ceed. In the first game, Shifeng took an early lead and raced to 14-5 in no time. Sen made a fine re­cov­ery to nar­row down the gap to 13-16 but he could not sus­tain it and Shifeng went ahead 18-13 and then made it 20-14 to have six game points. Though Sen saved one game point, the Chi­nese won the next one to pocket the first game in 17 min­utes.

The sec­ond game was a closer fight than the first but the Chi­nese was lead­ing all the time. Shifeng was ahead 8-7 ini­tially but the gap widened to 12-7 be­fore Sen made it 11-14. The three-point gap re­mained for some time be­fore the Chi­nese made it 18-14 and then 19-14. His Chi­nese op­po­nent was a hard nut to crack as Shifeng won the fi­nal point to clinch the match and the gold.

The In­dia ad­mit­ting to com­mit­ting early mis­takes and gave full credit to his Chi­nese ri­val. “He was very good and won the cru­cial points. I couldn’t push my­self tough I man­aged to pro­long the in­evitable,” said Sen af­ter fi­nal.

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