Not entering India’s Thomas Cup squad wakes up Lakshya Sen –

Badminton News: From being sad at not being selected for Team India in the Thomas Cup to being a hero, it has been a tremendous transformation for Lakshya Sen in less than six months.

The defeat in the first round of the Thomas & Uber team selection trials last August left the Indian commuter in shock, but he was clearly inferior at the time as he suffered from a stomach infection.

Heartbroken and deeply frustrated, the 20-year-old from Almora was distraught when he received an invitation from Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen to train with him in Dubai.

Axelsen moved his training base from Denmark to Dubai after winning Olympic gold in Tokyo. He invited five players, namely world champion Loh Kean Yew from Singapore, Brian Yang from Canada, Toby Penty from Denmark, Felix Burestedt from Sweden and Lakshya Sen to train with him at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex.

“Lakshya was upset at that time. I told him these things happen to substitutes. You have to be like Srikanth, Sindhu and Saina. So that kind of selection problem won’t be a problem,” the coach recalls Vimal Kumar.

“We told him to go to Dubai and Lakshya Sen received training there. He was inspired by the way Axelsen handled everything himself. Lakshya was alone in a European tournament, where he learned to react to some different situations. It actually helped him react and immediately change his strategy on the pitch,” Vimal told TOI on Sunday.

Lakshya Sen and Loh Kean Yew enjoyed the camp the most. While Loh became world champion, Lakshya won bronze at the World Championships, won the India Open Super 500 title and reached the All England 2022 final.

Prakash Padukone’s drastic decision in 2011 to graduate all senior players from Padukone Academy and focus solely on training juniors also helped Lakshya, Vimal said. The Academy has been converted into a National Age Group Training Centre. Although Vimal is initially cold to the idea, Prakash and his other partner Vivek are confident the idea will work.

Tags: Lakshya Sen, Viktor Axelsen, Vimal Kumar

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Cheryl Tenny

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