All England Badminton: Lakshya Sen beats Lee Zii Jia, books spot in the final

Birmingham, March 19 (IANS) World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen reached the final of the 2022 All England Open Badminton Championships after beating Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-13, 12-21, 21-19 in the semi-finals, here on Saturday.

Sen opened up an 11-7 lead at the interval in the first game in a battle between two top shuttlers. The Indian was solid and defended brilliantly Lee’s attack and took the opening game 21-13.

However, the Malaysian made a strong comeback and hit a string of sensational winners to claim the second game. In the decider, Lakshya Sen put up a phenomenal fight, didn’t give up and eventually won it 21-19.

With this win, Sen became the fifth Indian shuttler to reach the final of the All England Open Badminton Championships.

The 20-year-old from Almora, who had a great start to 2022 by winning the India Open and reaching the final of the German Open last week, had earlier got a walkover from his opponent world No 27 Lu Guang Zu of China in the quarter-finals.

The young Indian shuttler is in great form, having beaten world champion Loh Kean Yew and Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in recent weeks.

Only two Indians — Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand — have won the prestigious title.