Tokyo Paralympics: Bhavina bags silver on India’s debut in Paralympics table tennis

Narendra Modi has led the nation to hail the historic feat of paddler Bhavina Patel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has led the nation to hail the historic feat of paddler Bhavina Patel. Photo Courtesy: SAI_MYAS.

A Paralympics history is created for India on the National Sports Day, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand. Bhavina Patel has signed off with a historic silver medal on India’s debut in the Paralympics’ table tennis competition.

Bhavina today (Sunday) became the first Indian para-paddler to win a medal, going down in the final against the World No. 1 Ying Zhou of China.

The Chinese paddler, a two-time Paralympics gold medallists and strongest contender for the gold at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, eased past Bhavina 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 in the final.

Paralympics Committee of India president Deepa Malik, herself a medallist Paralympian, hailed Bhavina’s feat. Malika was in Tokyo to witness the Games. She congratulated Bhavina for doing the nation proud. India never in the past had qualified for the Paralympics table tennis. Bhavina on her maiden attempt opened India’s medal tally at the Tokyo Games.

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Jhou happened to be the sole competitor to prevail over Bhavina. The Chinese had also won the group stage game against her earlier this week.

Up against an opponent, who has five Paralympic medals to her name including gold medals in the singles at Beijing and London, Bhavina seemed to struggle as she couldn’t execute her strategy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called Bhavina in Tokyo to congratulate her, led the nation to hail the special athletes’ special feat.

India’s first individual gold medallist at the Olympics has also praise Bhavina.

Bhavina, who was diagnosed with polio when she was 12 months old, had in run up to the final defeated world No 3 Miao Zhang of China 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in the semi-final showdown on Saturday.

In the quarterfinal on Friday, she had defeated 2016 Rio Paralympics gold medallist and world N0. 2  Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia to assure a medal and script history.

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