Olympics 2020 has been impressive for India in terms of carving new histories and the restless grit from the athletes and by ending the summer Olympics with bagging more medals than any other season ever, India is just one match ahead to win Gold at the Paralympic games that have been underway in Tokyo. India's paddler Bhavina Patel has written a new history and she has become the country's first medalist in the Tokyo games, opening India's medal stand.
Bhavina Patel has been assured the country of a Silver medal after defeating China's world no 3 Zhang Miao in the Bronze medal match that was held on Saturday. She has successfully entered the gold medal match of women's singles Class 4 event and she will be taking on Chinese World no 1 Zhou Ying in her hunt to the gold medal and the match will be taking place on Sunday. What is more important is that Bhavina had never won Zhang Miao in her 11 previous encounters and she has triumphed over her Chinese rival in a must-win match.
India has won four Gold medals overall in the Paralympics since its participation in 1968 and if Bhavina Patel wins the Gold on Sunday by defeating the Chinese world no 1, she will become the first Indian woman to win a Gold medal in Paralympics. Significantly, the current season is the first Paralympics for Bhavina Patel and ever since day one, she had kept her grit and begun building momentum towards ending her campaign with the golden feat. On Friday, she ensured a place on the medal podium by entering the semifinals after defeating Serbia's world number five Borislava Peric Rankovic, who won Gold in the Rio Paralympic games.
There is no bronze-medal playoff in Tokyo Paralympics table tennis, and both losing semi-finalists are guaranteed a bronze. On Saturday, Bhavina Patel poured more hope into her campaign after advancing to the Gold medal match by cracking a Silver medal. In a match that lasted five sets, Bhavina won three sets and gave a big cheer back to the country as India upticks towards winning the first medal in the ongoing games. Bhavina has been flooded with wishes from the country after she has advanced to the gold medal match.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, "Congratulations Bhavina Patel! You played excellently. The entire nation is praying for your success and will be cheering for you tomorrow. Give your best and play without any pressure. Your accomplishments inspire the entire nation." Union Minister for Sports Anurag Thakur wrote, "Go Bhavina! Great game, now for the finale!". Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik has hailed Bhavina's victory.
Taking to Twitter, Malik said, "world-class skill and moves by Bhavina. what a match to witness. beauty is all her matches have kept you glued and wanting for more. Amazing practice and improvement in game to take world top players head on Kudos @BhavinaPatel6 getting Chinese to a 2-2 n then win." After winning Saturday's match and advancing to the Gold medal match, Bhavina said, "It's a big achievement. Everyone says defeating China is tough. Today, I've proved nothing is impossible. I urge all Indians to give their blessings to me for the final match tomorrow, so I'll be able to perform better".
She further added, "I am just giving my 100%. I am mentally ready for the final." Bhavina's father Hasmukhbhai Patel said, "I am very happy today. Bhavina Patel is definitely going to win a gold medal. For the last 20 years, she is playing Table tennis." 34-year-old Bhavina Patel was diagnosed with polio when she was 12 and after winning the quarterfinal by defeating Serbia's Rankovic, she said, "I could win my match today due to the support of the people of India. Please keep supporting me that I can win my semifinal match."
Bhavina, a native of Mehsana, Gujarat, had won a number of gold and silver medals in national and international competitions. She had reached the ranking of world number 2, by winning the Silver medal for India in the Individual Category at the Thailand Table Tennis Championship held in 2011. She had won the silver medal in the women's singles Class 4 at the Asian Para table tennis championships in Beijing. Now, she is one match to win the Gold and to become India's first woman gold medallist in the Paralympic games.
Congratulations Bhavina Patel! You played excellently.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 28, 2021
The entire nation is praying for your success and will be cheering for you tomorrow. Give your best and play without any pressure. Your accomplishments inspire the entire nation. #Paralympics
Go Bhavina ! Great game, now for the finale! https://t.co/5Ygn3Q6qb1— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) August 28, 2021
It's a big achievement. Everyone says defeating China is tough. Today, I've proved nothing is impossible. I urge all Indians to give their blessings to me for final match tomorrow, so I'll be able to perform better: Paddler Bhavina Patel on her semi-final win in Tokyo Paralympics pic.twitter.com/WM503ogNV1— ANI (@ANI) August 28, 2021