India’s IAS Suhas will enter the finals on Sunday Indian Para athletes continue their stellar performance in Tokyo Paralympics Pramod Bhagat became the first player to win gold in Paralympic badminton Tokyo
Reigning world champion Pramod Bhagat on Saturday won a historic badminton gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 category at the Tokyo Paralympic Games while Manoj Sarkar won the bronze medal.
India continued its impressive run at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. Bhagat defeated Daniel Bethel of Britain in the final while Sarkar defeated Daisuke Fujihara of Japan in the third place playoff. Both players won straight games.
Badminton is making its debut at the Paralympic Games this year. Bhagat, the world number one player, thus became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the sport. Top seed Indian and Asian champion Bhagat defeated second seed Bethel 21-14 21-17 in a thrilling 45-minute final at the Yoyogi National Stadium.
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The 33-year-old from Bhubaneswar is currently in the hunt for a bronze medal in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 category. Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will take on Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal playoff on Sunday.
In the SL3-SU5 category, the pair of Bhagat and Palak lost 3-21, 15-21 to Harry Susanto and Liene Ratri Aktila of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
At the age of four, his left leg was deformed due to polio. He has won 45 international medals including four gold at the World Championships. He has 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.
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In the year 2019, he was awarded the Arjuna Award and the Biju Patnaik Award. At the same time, 31-year-old Sarkar was suffering from polio when he was one year old. He showed great spirit against Fujihara to win 22-20 21-13.
He went down to Bethel of Britain 8-21 10-21 in the semi-finals of the men’s singles SL3 category. But he returned after defeat and won the bronze.
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Sarkar started playing badminton at the age of five but it was only after winning against his elder brothers that he became passionate about the game after which he started playing seriously. He played in inter-school competition against capable players after which he started playing in para badminton in 2011.
He won the gold medal in SL3 singles at the 2016 Asian Championships in Beijing. In 2018 he received the Arjuna Award. Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar have also reached the men’s singles final in their respective categories. In the SL3 category, players who have a leg deformity are allowed to participate.