Bhavinaben Patel on Friday became the first Indian table tennis player to enter the quarterfinals at Paralympics. She notched a strong win over Joyce de Oliveira of Brazil in the women’s singles Class 4 event at the Tokyo Games.

The 34-year-old Indian beat her Brazillian opponent 12-10, 13-11, 11-6 in a Round of 16 contest that lasted 23 minutes.

She will meet defending champion Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals later in the day.

India at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, day 3 live

“My strategy was to play more towards the body of my opponent and that was what my coach told me. I executed my plans,” Patel said after the match.

“My next opponent is world number two, so I have to really focus on my game and hope to win the match.”

Earlier, the Indian had entered the Round of 16 after winning one match and losing the other group game.

She is the only Indian left in the fray in the table tennis competition after compatriot Sonalben Patel lost both her group matches on Thursday to bow out.

Athletes in Class 4 category have fair sitting balance and fully functional arms and hands. Their impairment may be due to a lower spinal-cord lesion or cerebral palsy.

Table tennis classification

Classes 1-5 in the sport are sitting classes. Athletes in Class 4 have some sitting balance and fully functional arms and hands. They can move to the front to meet their opponent’s serve. Players in Class 3 have full hand and arm function. With their good arm function, they can manoeuvre the wheelchair while maintaining good balance of their upper body. The athlete’s impairment may result from spinal cord injuries or neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy.