Vietnam Open | Lakshya Sen withdraws due to injury; Ajay Jayaram sole Indian contender for medal

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Vietnam Open | Lakshya Sen withdraws due to injury; Ajay Jayaram sole Indian contender for medal

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SportsCafe Desk

08/06/2018

After Lakshya Sen failed to recover from shin splint injuries in time for the upcoming Vietnam Open, Ajay Jayaram will bear the hopes of winning a medal at this year's Vietnam Open. However, Mithun Manjunath, who reached the semifinals of the Russian Open, is also slated to play a qualifier.

Lakshya Sen, who is a product of the esteemed Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, became the number one junior singles player in BWF World Junior ranking in February last year. The young lad from Uttarakhand was crowned the champion at the 2018 Asian Junior Championships after he defeated top seed and junior world number one, Kunlavut Vitidsarn, in the final. Sen ended India’s 53-year long wait for a men’s singles gold after he won the Asia Junior championship last month.

But the 16-year old will miss out on this year’s Vietnam Open in what could have been another potential title after he failed to recover from shin splint injuries in time for the tournament, as per Lakshya’s mentor and former national coach Vimal Kumar.

“Lakshya has pulled out as he still has pain from the shin splint injuries. He is getting it in both legs so after coming back from Asian Junior, he was feeling pain during the practice

“We consulted the physio. Heath Matthews (Physio) takes care of him, so they have gone to Mumbai. An MRI will be done to see how to go about it,” Kumar told PTI sources.

In his absence, senior shuttler Ajay Jayaram, who ended up with a silver medal at the recent White Nights International Challenge, will be India’s best hope for a medal and will begin his campaign against local favorite - Le Duc Phat. Meanwhile, Mithun Manjunath, who had reached the latter stages of the Russian Open earlier this year is also scheduled to play a qualifier along with Shreyansh Jaiswal.

In the women’s singles,  Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who won a gold medal at the 2016 South Asian Games, is slated to face-off against Malaysia’s Yin Fun Lim in the opening round. Mugdha Agrey will face a tough task ahead of her as she will fight it out against seventh seed Chinese Han Yue. Vaidehi Choudhari drew USA’s Crystal Pan in round one as Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli will battle it out with Indonesia’s Yulia Yosephin Susanto. However, Rasika Raje is scheduled to play a qualifier in the opening round.

Amongst other, the women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha Ram who are second seeds for the Vietnam Open will play a pair who qualify from the qualifiers, while Poorvisha will again pair up with Shivam Sharma in the mixed doubles category as they play Tadayuki Urai and Rena Miyaura.

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