Former junior world No 1 Lakshya Sen would have hoped to create history by winning the gold at the youth Olympics currently underway at Buenos Aires in Argentina but his chance of claiming the elusive glory came down crashing after going down fighting 15-21, 19-21 against China’s Shifeng Li in the men’s singles badminton final.
Sen, seeded fourth in the tournament saved four match points in the second game to create some nervous moments for the fifth seed from China but Li held onto his nerve to finish the match in 42 minutes.
While this was India’s seventh medal at the games, Sen became the second Indian shuttler to win a silver medal at the event after HS Prannoy in 2010.
Lashya did not have a great start to the match as he struggled to deal with Li’s power game. The Chinese shuttler, who is ranked No 6 in the world among juniors kept Sen on the back foot to take 11-2 lead, but the Indian rallied back in the second half of the game. Trailing 8-16, Sen reduced the points deficit to three but Li quickly wrapped up the first game 21-15.
After a tight start to the second game, Li once again pulled ahead with a five-point advantage, but Sen picked up a few points to stay within touching distance. But in the end, it proved Li proved to be too strong to the Indian shuttler as he went down fighting. A great run for the Indian youngster ended with a hard-earned silver medal.