India’s Lakshya Sen settled for a bronze medal in the World Junior Badminton Championship after suffering a narrow defeat to top seed Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in the men’s singles semifinals.
The 17-year-old from Almora, who had clinched the Asian Junior title this year, fought hard before going down 22-20 16-21 13-21 to Viridian in a match that went on for an hour and 11 minutes on Saturday.
“I could not get into my usual rhythm, though I managed to win the first game. But he (Kunlavut) was too strong in the second. I could not play to my strong points and my opponent had all answers to my strokes,” said the world junior No. 3 shuttler.
Lakshya, who was the last Indian hope in the tournament, began well and in what was a touch-and-go opening game, the Indian seized the opportunity past midway and sealed the extended game in his favour.
But the Thai came back strongly in the second game to level 1-1 and keep his chances alive.
The Indian, who lacked conviction after losing the second game, was unable to gather himself in the decider as the Thai ran up a good lead and maintained it throughout to secure a place in the final.
Saina Nehwal is the only Indian to have won a gold in the tournament during the 2008 Pune edition.