Bhavina Patel has become the first table tennis player from India to reach the Paralympic final. She defeated Zhang Miao of China 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in the semi-finals of the women’s singles Class 4 category at the Tokyo Games on Saturday. Now she is just one step away from creating history by winning the gold medal.
It’s a good start for the Indian contingent committed to putting in the best of these games. After the victory, 34-year-old Bhavina said, ‘I have defeated the Chinese player in the semi-finals. Nothing is impossible if you wish.’
Bhavina Patel of Mehsana Gujarat, will now enter the title match on August 29, where she will face Zhou Ying of China. This match will start at 7:15 am Indian time.
Bhavina daughter of Hasmukhbhai Patel, who runs a small grocery shop, was not even considered a medal contender, but she created history with her performance. Bhavina, who was a victim of polio at the age of 12, said, ‘When I came here, I only thought of giving my 100 percent. If you can do this then you will get the medal automatically. That is what I thought.’
On Friday, she became the first table tennis player from India to reach the Paralympic semi-finals. She defeated Borislava Perich Rankovi of Serbia 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in the quarterfinals to secure a medal for India in table tennis.
On Friday itself, Bhavina entered the quarter-finals by defeating Joyce de Oliveira of Brazil 12-10, 13-11, 11-6 in the last 16 match. She became the first table tennis player from India to reach the Paralympic quarter-finals.
PM Modi congratulated Bhavina Patel, who reached the final of Para Table Tennis, she wrote – The whole country will wish you success tomorrow.
This was the semifinal match
Bhavina, who played on a wheelchair, lost the first game, but later made a spectacular comeback winning both the games. It took them only four minutes to win the third game. In the fourth game, the Chinese made a comeback, but in the deciding fifth game, Patel entered the final after registering a thrilling victory.
This was Bhavina’s first win against former world number one Zhang. Both have played each other 11 times before this.
There will be a fierce competition in the final
Bhavina was easily defeated by Zhou in the first group match. Winning the final against them will not be easy. Patel had defeated 2016 Rio Paralympic gold medalist Borislava Perich Rankovi in the quarterfinals.
The seating balance of class 4 players is correct and the hands are fully worked. The disorder in their body is caused by injury to the spinal cord.
This is how Bhavina’s journey started
Bhavina Patel started playing in the blind association 13 years ago in Vastrapur area of Ahmedabad, where she was a student of ITI for Divyang. Later she saw children with visual impairments playing table tennis and decided to take up the sport. She won the first medal for the Rotary Club in Ahmedabad. She is married to Nikunj Patel, who has played junior cricket for Gujarat.
Bhavina Patel also became the world number two player in 2011, when she won a silver medal for India at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship. In October 2013, she won a silver medal at the Asian Para Tennis Championships in Beijing.