Ace shuttler Pramod Bhagat stormed into the semi-final of the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics after beating Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov in his second Group A match. The 33-year-old, also the current world champion, defeated Chyrkov 21-12, 21-9 inside 26 minutes to enter the last four in SL3.
“I was in the groove today and played really well. Oleksandr Chyrkov is a good player and played some good strokes in the match. I am very happy that I have reached the semi-finals,” Bhagat said.
“Things are going to be tough from here as the knock out stages start. My focus is on one match at a time and also the last league game of the mixed doubles which is a do-or-die situation for us.”
Bhagat will team up with Palak Kohli against Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa in mixed doubles class SL3-SU5 on Friday.
Other Indians in the fray – Suhas Yathiraj, Tarun Dhillon and Krishna Nagar also opened their Tokyo campaign with a win.
Suhas Yathiraj defeated Germany’s Jan Niklas Pott while Taurn Dhillon piped Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom in SL4 class. Meanwhile, second seed Krishna outwitted Malaysia’s Taresoh Didin in SH6 class.
Suhas marched to a 21-9 21-3 win in 19 minutes while Tarun too didn’t break a sweat, defeating Teamarrom 21-7 21-13 in a group B match that lasted 23 minutes. Krishna prevailed 22-20 21-10 in a 33 minute battle in Group B
Palak Kohli also moved ahead after beating Turkey’s Zehra Baglar in her second women’s singles match of group A.