India’s Krishna Nagar gave India its fifth gold at the Tokyo Paralympics. The shuttler picked up a hard-fought win over Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai in the summit clash of the men’s singles (SH6) event on Sunday. This was India’s second gold in badminton.
Earlier, Pramod Bhagat claimed a podium finish in the SL3 event yesterday. After a crushing win over Great Britain’s Krysten Coombs in the semi-final, he went into the final as the red hot favourite to win gold. Nagar lived up to the expectations and picked up a hard-fought 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 win.
Krishna started the first set with a bang but Chu Man Kai was always at a touching distance and even closed the mid-game interval holding a slender lead. At one point, he was ahead by 16-11 but Krishna made comeback to make it 15-17. From there on he took off and claimed six straight points to win the set.
The second set also followed the same trajectory with Chu Man Kai taking an 11-7 lead at the mid-set break. He then went ahead at 17-13. However, this time he didn’t give Krishna a sniff and won the set 21-16.
In the decider set, Krishna came out all guns blazing and raced to a 5-1 lead. Chu Man Kai picked up a couple of points to close the gap but the Indian moved further away and was leading 11-7 at the mid-game break. Krishna was marching towards gold at 13-8 but Chu Man Kai came back to reach level at 13-13.
The match was heading towards an interesting finish at 17-16 in favour of Krishna but the Indian stepped up his game and took a 20-16 lead. The Hong Kong shuttler won one more point but Krishna closed the match with the gold for India.