Paddler Bhavina Patel wrapped up her sensational Tokyo 2020 campaign on Sunday with a historic silver medal, becoming only the second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics.
This was India’s first medal at the ongoing Games in Tokyo.
She went down to world No 1 Ying Zhou of China in the women’s singles table tennis class 4 final but earned India’s first-medal in the sport at the Paralympics. The 34-year-old’s impressive run at the Games ended with a fighting 7-11, 5-11, 6-11 loss to Zhou, now a two-time singles gold medallist, in the women’s singles summit clash which lasted 19 minutes.
World No 12 Patel had also lost to Zhou, one of the most decorated para-paddlers of China, in her first group stage match earlier in the week in the group stage. Since then, she beat world No 9 Megan Shackleton in a must-win Group A match, downed the world No 8 Joyce de Oliveira in the round of 16, knocked world No 2 and Rio 2016 gold medallist Borislava Peric Rankovic in the quarter-finals and stunned world No 3 and Rio 2016 silver medallist Miao Zhang, who she had lost to 11 times before, to reach the final.
Talk about a stunning run.
Up against an opponent Zhou, who had five previous Paralympic medals to her name including singles gold medals at Beijing and London, Patel’s run came to an end but not without a historic silver.
The medal, that came on India’s National Sports day, got social media talking:
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