National Badminton Championships 2023: Title Came Late But It Will Motivate Me To Excel Internationally, Says Men's Singles Winner Chirag Sen

The 25-year-old Chirag, who has been playing in the domestic circuit for the past few years, admitted that his younger brother Lakshya had contributed to his career growth

Chirag Sen with his brother Lakshya Sen (L) and parents after winning the Nationals Singles title

After living in the shadows of his illustrious younger brother Lakshya Sen, shuttler Chirag finally wins the men's singles title in the Senior National championships and he says the crown will motivate him to achieve success in the international circuit. (More Badminton News)

Chirag on Sunday beat fourth seed M Tharun 21-14 13-21 21-9 in the final to win the national crown in Guwahati which Lakshya could never win, having finished second best twice in 2017 and 2019.

"It came a bit late but I am really happy to finally win this. I have been playing well for the last 3-4 months but now got that breakthrough. I am looking forward to starting doing well in the international circuit also," Chirag, a winner of the 2020 Kenya International challenge, told PTI.

The 25-year-old Chirag, who has been playing in the domestic circuit for the past few years, admitted that Lakshya had contributed to his career growth.

"We both share a great bond. It has been a great journey for us as we have been in the academy together, taking care of each other and his contribution is immense in my career," said the world no. 97.

"During the Denmark camp, I got a lot of confidence as I was sparring with him. I got this feeling that I too have the game to beat the top 30 players. It is just that I have to play well during the match." 

While Chirag won the title, reigning Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya lost to fellow academy-mate Bharat Raghav in the quarterfinals. Lakshya stayed back to support his older brother.

"He waited for my final after cancelling his 9 pm flight to Bengaluru. He was sitting behind me along with my dad during semifinal and final and it motivated me and helped me a lot."

Chirag will have Lakshya as a sparring partner as he gears up for the Asian tour, including the Malaysia Open (super 1000), India Open (super 750) and Indonesia Masters (super 500).

The Uttarakhand shuttler, who started playing men's doubles as well in 2023, said he lost his confidence after facing losses in the senior circuit.

"It was about confidence. I was lacking in that earlier. When I started in the senior circuit I had faced a lot of losses and I didn't have any confidence," said Chirag, who will be playing in Iran and Sri Lanka next.

"I started playing doubles with Dhruv (Rawat) this year. I trained in doubles and I feel it helped me as it is not usual for others as I have a mixed game."

Former India coach Vimal Kumar remembered how the Sen brothers had come along with their father DK Sen, a badminton coach, for an audition at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) in Bangalore.

"We were impressed with Chirag's talent more and had selected him 10-11 years back. He was doing well in junior but after that, he didn't win big and Lakshya started performing well in international events," he said.

"Chirag was always sincere and focused. Even now in the last 2 to 4 years, he was diligently working hard. His dad had hopes for him and winning the national champion is special.

"He is capable of beating good players, but he was found short in key matches. So it will be a good motivation for others. I am sure this title will motivate him and help him to do well on the international stage."