All England Badminton Championships: Lakshya Sen loses to Viktor Axelsen; finishes as runner-up

07:56 AM Mar 21, 2022 | PTI |

Birmingham: Lakshya Sen’s dream run at the All England Championships ended with a heartbreaking straight-game loss against world number one and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the men’s singles final, continuing India’s 21-year-long agonizing wait for the coveted trophy.


After four days of sensational badminton, the 20-year-old Sen faltered on the cusp of history as he committed too many errors to go down 10-21 15-21 to former champion Axelsen in a lop-sided summit clash that lasted 53 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena.

On Saturday, Sen had become only the fifth Indian after Prakash Nath (1947), Prakash Padukone (1980, 1981), Pullela Gopichand (2001), and Saina Nehwal (2015) to reach the final of the prestigious tournament after outwitting defending champion Lee Zii Jia in a grueling semifinal.

A week back, Sen had recorded his first win over former world champion Axelsen en route to his final appearance at the German Open but he couldn’t sustain his craft on Sunday as his highly-fancied rival returned the favors, claiming his fifth overall win against the Indian.

While 2020 winner Axelsen claimed the men’s singles title for the second time, Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi won the women’s singles crown, beating South Korea’s An Seyoung 21-15 21-15 in the final.


Despite the loss, it has been a creditable performance for Sen, who is still in his early days in elite-level badminton.

A product of the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in Bengaluru, Sen has been in sensational form in the last six months.

He secured his maiden world championships bronze in December last, before winning his first Super 500 title at India Open in January and finishing runner-up at the German Open last week.


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