World No 1 Pramod Bhagat bagged a doubles crown while Manasi Joshi clinched the SL3 women’s singles title as India took their gold medals tally to three in the BWF Para Badminton World Championship which is being held simultaneously with the regular event in Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday.
Two-time champion Tarun Dhillon would be another Indian in the final of the men’s singles SL4 category in which he will take on top seed Lucas Mazur of France.
Bhagat, who had earlier bagged the men’s doubles SL3-4 gold in an all Indian final, put behind a disappointing opening game to beat second seed Daniel Bethell of England 6-21, 21-14, 21-5 in the men’s singles SL3 contest that lasted 51 minutes.
The Orissa shuttler could not find any rhythm in the opening game but instead of losing hope came back with a better game plan in the second to take the lead from the first point and maintained that lead till the end.
The decider was another one-sided affair but this time the Indian was the dominating player.
Earlier on Saturday night, Joshi defeated compatriot Parul Parmar 21-12, 21-7 to clinch her first world title in the women’s SL3 category before Bhagat and Sarkar came from a game down to defeat compatriots Kumar Nitesh and Tarun Dhillon 14-21, 21-15, 21-16 in the men’s doubles SL3-4 category final.
This was Joshi’s first victory over the 46-year-old Parmar. The 2017 bronze medallist, who lost her left leg in an accident in 2011, began dominating the exchanges after fighting back from a 2-4 deficit in the opening game and then raced ahead by winning nine of the next 11 points as her veteran opponent struggled with her movements.
The second game was a complete cakewalk and Joshi wrapped up the match in 20 minutes with nine straight points.
In the day’s other all-Indian final, Bhagat and Sarkar made the most of their experience to fight back after losing the opening game. They simply cranked up the pressure at the start of the second game by winning nine of the first 11 points and then eased through the remained of the game. In the decider, Dhillon and Nitesh did manage to keep pace with the champions till 12-12 but could not hold on as their opponents increased the pace of the rallies.
Krishna Nagar and Raja Magotra, however, could not complete a hat-trick of gold medals for India on the penultimate day of competition as they went down 21-15, 17-21, 21-18 in a 55-minute clash against top seeds Man Kai Chu and Chun Yim Wong of Chinese Taipei in the men’s doubles SS6 category.
Earlier, Bhagat had reached the SL3 singles final by beating compatriot and doubles partner Sarkar 21-18, 21-16 to stay in the hunt for his first singles title.
In the SL4 semi-final, Dhillon was much more clinical in his 21-14, 21-16 win over Fredy Setiawan in the semi-finals. Kadam, however, lost his semi-final to Mazur 21-11, 21-13 and will return home with a bronze medal.
As many as 22 medal events are contested in this Championships, while the Tokyo 2020 will have 14 medal events in the sport that will make its Paralympic debut next September.
India is assured of 12 medals including two gold, three silver and five bronze medals with the colour of the remaining two to be decided on Sunday.