Badminton News: Describing the Canada Open victory as one of the “greatest comebacks” of his fledgling career, Indian badminton star Lakshya Sen said on Monday that the victory over the defending All England champion had given him confidence and faith in a year of Olympic qualification.
Lakshya Sen saved four points in the second match of the final to beat China’s Li Shi Feng 21-18, 22-20, ending a 17-month wait for a BWF World Tour title.
“At the start of the Olympic qualifying year, it was tough because things weren’t going my way,” Sen, the defending Commonwealth Games champion, told PTI.
“So it’s going to be a big tournament for me and playing in a final like that is one of the biggest comebacks for me.”
After his 2022 peak, Lakshya Sen has seen a downturn this season after being hampered by the effects of a nose job he underwent to treat a deviated septum after the world championships last August.
His recovery process has been extended from three months to over eight months and his struggles are reflected in his performance.
He was knocked out in the first round of the last four matches of 2022 and found it difficult at the start of 2023. His ranking also dropped to 25th in the world from six.
“I trained well but after the operation I got sick and my immunity was not good, I had a lot of health problems. I couldn’t play 100%. I had prepared well. for All England, but again I couldn’t do well,” he said.
Lakshya Sen also had to make some changes around himself after Korean coach Yong Sung Yoo left after the 2022 World Championships. He brought in Anup Sridhar and also hired exercise science specialist Deckline Leitao and exercise.
“Since my Korean coach left there have been a lot of changes, I have tried different things in training and all of that is helping me now,” he said.
“The kind of support system I had with Anup bhaiya, my physio and I changed coaches, now I’m working with Deckline Leitao.” “So getting along with everyone and having Vimal (Kumar) Pak and my dad (DK Sen) around, it all helps. I’m looking forward to continuing my year of Olympic qualification, it gives me a lot of confidence and belief,” Sen added.
While HS Prannoy is India’s top ranked 8th in the world, Sen and Kidambi Srikanth are ranked 19th and 20th respectively.
A victory like this will certainly ease the pressure in the Olympic qualifying race from May 1, but Lakshya Sen knows he still has a long way to go with the Olympic period ending on April 28, 2024.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a relief, I still have a lot of tournaments to play but this win will give me great motivation to do the right thing and believe in my process,” he said.
“There have been a lot of tournaments, I will only take the positives from this one. Now that my health issues are resolved, I just want to stay injury free and fit for a good season ahead.”
Article Tags: Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, Li Shi Feng, canada open 2023
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