Paddler Bhavina Patel brought glory to India as she became only the second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics. Bhavna confirmed a silver after defeating Miao Zhang of China 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in the semifinal. Her impressive journey in the Paralympics came to an end after a 0-3 loss to world number 1 Chinese Paddler Ying Zhou in the final. Zhou had defeated Patel in her first group match as well. The medal also opened India’s account in the Tokyo Paralympics.
Deepa Malik, who is the current president of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) is the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic games. She had won a silver in Shotput in Rio 2016. Patel, a wheelchair player, struggled against a six-time World Championship medallist, gold medal winner in London and Beijing, and lost the final in 19 minutes.
Patel showed promise in the first set and kept herself at a touching distance with Zhou at 5-7. However, the set was won by the Chinese after a deep push at baseline. Zhou was all over Patel in the second set and took a 7-1 lead early on. Patel tried to close the gap and got three back to back points to bring the equation to 4-7, but the effort went in vain as Zhou claimed the set. The third set was evenly fought with both players tied at 5-5. However, Zhou again moved ahead and sealed the gold medal.
Patel won her first medal while representing Rotary Club in Ahmedabad. She became world number two in 2011 after winning a silver medal for India in PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship. In October 2013, Patel won another silver in the women’s singles Class 4 at the Asian Para Table-Tennis Championships in Beijing.
Meanwhile, the cricket fraternity also lauded Bhavina Patel for making the country proud.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 29, 2021
Congratulations to #BhavinaPatel for creating history by winning India's first silver medal in women's singles class 4 table tennis event at the ongoing #TokyoParalympics .
A wonderful display of focus , hardwork and mental strength. pic.twitter.com/Ijh9LmfBTo
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 29, 2021
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) August 29, 2021
Acing down the silver line!🥈
— Chennai Super Kings – Mask P😷du Whistle P🥳du! (@ChennaiIPL) August 29, 2021
🅱rilliant 🅱havina 😍🥈
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) August 29, 2021
Huge congratulations to Bhavina Patel on winning Silver for 🇮🇳 in Women’s Class 4 Table Tennis in the ongoing #Paralympics in Tokyo. 🥈👏🏻👏🏻
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) August 29, 2021
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) August 29, 2021