Jakarta, July 21: India’s Lakshya Sen crushed home favourite Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay here on Saturday to storm into the men’s singles final of the Badminton Asia Junior Championships.
The Indian sixth seed registered an easy 21-7, 21-14 victory in 40 minutes over fourth seeded Kumbay to set-up a title decider against Thai top seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn.
Vitidsarn got past Chinese third seed Yupeng Bai with a 21-14 21-12 victory in 41 minutes in the other Under-19 semi-final of the day.
Lakshya said that he has never faced Vitidsarn before but promised “I will definitely try and give my best shot against the top-seed”.
“It feels good to be in the final. I am happy with the way I am playing now and hope to maintain the tempo in tomorrow’s final,” said the 2016 edition bronze medallist after the semi-final match.
Against Rumbay, Lakshya reeled off points in quick succession in the first game. He was quick on his feet and smashed anything tossed up to him by the local boy. Lakshya raced to a solid lead and was almost half way down when Rumbay picked up a few points to launch himself.
Though the entire match took 40 minutes, his first game was over in less than 16 minutes.
In the second game, however, Rumbay did well to resurrect himself but the Indian was always ahead by at least three points. Rumbay resorted to long rallies but tha didn’t trouble Lakshya as he fought off the home challenger.
The fourth seed Indonesia played well in the second but could never come close to challenge the authority of Lakshya.
There were, of course, a couple of occasions when Rumbay with some good net-play and cross-court smashes surprised the Indian. But Lakshya was quick enough to return the compliment, in his own way.
If he wins the final, Lakshya will bid to become only the third Indian after Gautam Thakkar (1965) and P.V. Sindhu (2012) to pocket a gold medal at the Asia Junior Championships. IANS