Suffering from a throat infection, star Indian shuttler Lakshya Sen has withdrawn from the upcoming Australian Open Super 300 badminton tournament.
The 21-year-old from Almora picked up the infection just before the Hylo Open, where he lost in the opening round to Hong Kong’s Ng Ka Long Angus in Saarbrucken, Germany.
The Australian Open is scheduled to be held from November 15 to 20 in Sydney.
“I had fever, throat pain and weakness after I reached Saarbrucken ahead of Hylo Open. I probably picked the infection while travelling from Paris,” Sen, who returned to India on Saturday night, told PTI on Sunday.
“I thought it is not that serious. I was training last Sunday and then on Monday, I felt it had aggravated. I consulted doctor online and took medicine. It is under control now. But given the situation, I have decided to pull out of Australian Open.”
The Commonwealth Games champion said the fact that he has no chance of qualifying for the World Tour Finals also played a role in his decision of withdrawing from the tournament.
“I had sent my entries earlier as I thought it would help me to qualify for World Tour Finals but now it is not possible anymore, so it is better that I take some weeks off, get back to full fitness and start with my off season training to be ready for the next season.”
The last few months have been tough for Sen, who underwent a surgery just after the World Championship for ‘deviated septum’, a condition which occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between the nasal passages is displaced to one side.
“I had this conditions for last few years. I couldn’t breath properly on both sides of my nose. One side was completely blocked. Doctors had told me it can be sorted only after I turn 18 or 20.
“But with a series of tournament like CWG and World Championships, there was no time. So after the World Championships, I decided to go for the surgery.”
Sen, the All England silver medallist, said this was the only window as the Paris Olympics qualification will start next year.
“It took 3 to 4 weeks to recover completely. But my immunity was down. The surgery went on very well. But I couldn’t play at my 100 per cent all the time,” the current world number eight said.
“I started playing just two weeks before leaving for Europe tour. Since my qualification for world tour final was on the line, and doctor had also given a green signal, I thought let me play.”
So what is his plan now?
“I plan to spend time with my family, get better and then train for next season. I will probably play PBL,” said the India Open champion.
Asked how satisfied is he with the way things panned out in 2022, Sen said: I made a pretty good start. Reaching the finals in some events gave me a lot of confidence. I wanted to do well in CWG, All England, World Championships, some I did well, some I didn’t but it was a good season.
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