Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the nation in backing All England Badminton Championship finalist and World Championships bronze medalist Lakshya Sen for his performance opposite defending champion Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia to score a maiden final berth in the All-England Badminton Championships on Saturday.

Prime Minister Modi applauded Sen for showing remarkable grit and tenacity and also wished him the best for his future endeavours. The Prime Minister tweeted, “Proud of you Lakshya Sen! You’ve shown remarkable grit and tenacity. You put a spirited fight. Best wishes for your future endeavors. I am confident you will keep scaling new heights of success.”

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi congratulated the 20-year-old Sen and said that he is “second to none”. He also added that Sen has won a billion hearts with his performance. Gandhi tweeted, “You are second to none, Lakshya Sen. You have won a billion hearts. Congratulations for a wonderful performance. You have done India proud! My best wishes for your future endeavors.”

Mahindra Group chairperson and Padma awardee Anand Mahindra called Sen “a prince who will be crowned sooner or later.” He also said that het 20-year-old badminton player “made us all proud getting to the final of the world’s oldest badminton tournament.”

Mahindra tweeted, “Viktor’s Imperious as a King perhaps, but Lakshya Sen is a prince who will be crowned sooner or later… Bravo Lakshya, you made us all proud getting to the final of the world’s oldest badminton tournament…”

RPG Enterprises chairman Harsh Goenka and SAP India President and MD Kulmeet Bawa congratulated the 20-year-old shuttler. Goenka tweeted, “Lion hearted display by Lakshya Sen today in the All England Open. Lakshya may have lost but has won the hearts of billions of Indians. This is the start! I can see him contributing to India’s gold reserves in the future.”

Bawa tweeted, “Lakshya Sen, you have clearly won a billion hearts! I am sure this is just the beginning of a glorious career!”

Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar tweeted, “There are no failures in life. You either win or you learn. I am sure you’ve learned so much from this amazing experience, Lakshya Sen. Wish you the very best for upcoming tournaments.”

20-year-old Sen became the fourth men’s singles player after Prakash Nath, Prakash Padukone and Pullela Gopichand to reach the final after outwitting Lee 21-13, 12-21 and 21-19 in a grueling semifinal match that lasted for one hour and 16 minutes. While Prakash Padukone (1980) and Pullela Gopichand (2001) won the prestigious event, Nath (1947) and women’s singles player Saina Nehwal (2015) lost in the final.

(With PTI inputs)

Also read: Lakshya Sen storms into All England Championships final