Kidambi Srikanth made history when he became the first Indian man to reach a World Championship final after he beat Lakshya Sen 17-21, 21-14, 21-17 in the semifinals of the BWF World Championships
In the road to the semis, Kidambi Srikanth had an easy victim in Mark Caljouw, defeating the Dutchman 21-8, 21-7 in 26 minutes. Lakshya Sen fought off a stubborn Chinese, Zhao Jun Peng, 21-15, 15-21, 22-20, including parrying off a match point displaying nerveless appetite for a scrap – one that he won.
Between the two, Srikanth, a former World No 1, and Lakshya, a debutant at the World’s, took out 3 of the 4 Chinese from the draw and pounced on the medals on offer.
Two men’s singles medals had come India’s way in the last 38 years – Prakash Padukone in 1983 and B Sai Praneeth in 2019. This year the draw opened up after World No.1 Japanese Kento Momota, two top Chinese and Indonesians withdrew, and then a couple of other Top Tenners were taken out fair and square playing indifferent badminton. But it still was going to need the Indians to swat away those in their way of medals.
Kidambi Srikanth has been trained in the Gopichand Badminton Academy in Hyderabad under the tutelage of Pullella Gopichand. He is also assisted by South Korean Park Tae Sang in his singles matches. Srikanth has never won a medal at a major BWF tournament but has a brilliant record at the Commonwealth and Asian Games.
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