There's no doubt that Indian badminton is in prime form and the future is extremely bright. And when junior players like Lakshya Sen are in the circuit, the country can hope for more glory in the coming years.
Lakshya, just 15, made India proud by becoming the No 1 junior singles badminton player in the world as per the latest ranking issued by the Badminton World Federation (BWF). Hailing from Almora, Lakshya is the first shuttler from Uttarakhand to attain the numero uno spot at the international level.
According to BWF current rankings, Lakshya has 16,903 points in eight tournaments he has played in the season pipping second-placed Chia Hao of Chinese Taipei, who has 16,091 points.
The young shuttler has had a brilliant year on the badminton circuit in 2016, as he won the Senior India International Series Badminton Tournament along with the All India Senior Ranking Badminton Tournament at Itanagar. He was youngest ever player and the first ever from Uttarakhand to win the title at senior level.
Lakshya has been training at the Prakash Padukone academy in Bangalore since the age of 10. The legendary Padukone had seen a lot of promise in Lakshya and has been giving him personal attention over the last couple of years. Padukone prepares his day-to-day schedule and monitors his progress closely.
'We were expecting this, perhaps it has come a little bit sooner than expected. Lakshya is a naturally gifted player and is quick to grasp the finer points of the game. I felt he had some very special qualities from the very beginning. The idea now is to help him keep developing tactically, which I feel is very important in the modern game where everyone tends to play a similar style as opposed to the '80s and '90s. I see my job as the one posing the questions, making him come up with the answers and I find he is faster at that than other players,' a proud Padukone is quoted as saying by ESPN.