Huelva, in southwest Spain, delivered good tidings for men’s badminton in India and, particularly for the Bengaluru-based Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA). Huelva was the venue for the season ending 2021 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Championship held last week, and the budding star from the PPBA, Lakshya Sen, reached the semi-finals before losing to countryman Kidambi Srikanth in a 69-minute three-setter. Sen won the bronze medal, but more significantly he has signalled his arrival into the big league. The world men’s singles field is replete with champion performers from Asia and Europe. Sen had lost to Denmark’s World No 1 Viktor Axelsen twice in Round Robin (second round) and the semi-finals of the previous week’s HSBC BWF World Tour Finals at Bali, Indonesia. He got a walkover from top gun Japanese Kento Momota due to injury and also from Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke but, he made the most of the following week’s World Championship upper half draw that was also weakened by injury related walkovers by Momota , Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie, France’s Toma Popov. Sen himself got a R32 walkover from German Max Weisskirchen. Sen needed all the luck, but he ran out of it against Srikant. The professional shuttler of four-plus years, Sen gives Indian Badminton plenty of hope.