Indian badminton player Pramod Bhagat has created history by winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. On Saturday, he defeated World No. 2 Daniel Bethel of Great Britain 21-14, 21-17 in the men’s singles SL3 final of Badminton. With this, 33-year-old Pramod Bhagat has become the first Indian shuttler to win gold in the Paralympic badminton event.
Manoj Sarkar also performed brilliantly in SL3 category and won the bronze medal. Manoj, who hails from Uttarakhand, defeated Daisuke Fujihara of Japan 22-20, 21-13 in 46 minutes in the bronze medal match. Significantly, Manoj Sarkar was defeated by Daniel Bethel in the semi-finals.
With this, the number of medals for India increased to 17. World number-1 Pramod won this title match in 45 minutes. In the semi-finals, he defeated Daisuke Fujihara of Japan 21-11, 21-16.
Bhuvneshwar’s Pramod won the fourth gold medal in the Tokyo Paralympics. Manish Narwal (Men’s 50m Pistol SH1) has won the third gold medal on Saturday itself. Earlier Avani Lakhera (Women’s 10m Air Rifle SH1) and Sumit Antil (Men’s Javelin Throw F64) won gold medals.
In the SL category, players with a standing disorder or a lower leg deformity compete, while in the SU, athletes with an upper back disorder play.
In the current Paralympics, India has won 17 medals so far. India now has 4 gold, 7 silver and 6 bronze medals. This is India’s best performance in the history of Paralympics. In Rio Paralympics (2016), India won 4 medals including 2 gold.
This is how Pramod Bhagat’s fight was
In the first game, second seed Bethel started off brilliantly to take a 6-3 lead at one point. But after this Pramod Bhagat took five consecutive points to make the score 8-6. During the game interval, the Indian player took an 11-8 lead. Then the British player tried to come back after collecting eight points, but it was insufficient. Ultimately Pramod Bhagat won the first game in 21 minutes.
In the second game as well, Bethel started well to take a 11-4 lead at the time of the game interval. Then Pramod Bhagat made the score equal to 15-15 by collecting points continuously. From here the Indian player did not look back and won the gold medal by winning the second game 21-17 in 24 minutes.
Pramod’s journey in Paralympics
Pramod Bhagat had made it to the semi-finals after winning both his matches in Group A. In his first match on Wednesday, he defeated compatriot Manoj Sarkar 21-10, 21-23. Pramod then defeated Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chirkov 21-12, 21-9 on Thursday. Then in the semi-final match on Saturday, Pramod defeated Daisuke Fujihara of Japan 21-11, 21-16.
Gold hopes from Suhas and Krishna too
In badminton, Indian players Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar have also entered the finals. In the SL4 class, world number three Suhas defeated Indonesia’s Freddy Setiawan 21-9, 21-15 in 31 minutes in the semi-finals. Now on Sunday, Noida District Magistrate Suhas will face France’s Lucas Mazur in the final.
Krishna Nagar, on the other hand, defeated Kristen Coombs of Great Britain 21-10, 21-11 in the SH6 semi-final in just 27 minutes. In the final, 22-year-old Krishna will face Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai on Sunday.
Pramod can win another medal
Pramod Bhagat is currently in the race for a bronze medal in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 class. Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will take on Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal playoff on Sunday.
At the age of 5, his left leg was deformed due to polio. He has won 45 international medals including four gold in world championships.
He won two gold and one silver in the last eight years at the BWF World Championships. In the 2018 Para Asian Games, he won one gold and one bronze.
PM Modi congratulated
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar. He tweeted and wrote – Pramod Bhagat has won the hearts of the whole country. He is a champion whose success will inspire millions. He showed amazing resilience and determination. Congratulations to him for winning gold in badminton. Best wishes for future endeavours.
I am very happy with the wonderful performance of Manoj Sarkar. Congratulations to him for bringing home the coveted bronze medal in badminton. Best wishes for the time to come.