India’s Bhavina Patel had to face defeat in the final of the women’s singles class 4 category at the Tokyo Games. Despite this defeat, Bhavina has become the first table tennis player from India to win a medal in the Paralympics. He captured the silver medal.
On Sunday, 34-year-old Bhavina was defeated 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 by World No. 1 Zhou Ying of China in the final. Bhavina defeated He Zhang Miao of China 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in the semi-finals on Saturday to reach the final.
This is India’s first medal in the ongoing Paralympic Games. Bhavina gave a good fight to Zhou Ying in the first game, but the two-time former gold medalist from China did not give the Indian any chance once she got the momentum and registered an easy straight game win.
The Indian player had to face defeat in the final in just 19 minutes, but she managed to get India’s first medal in the ongoing Paralympic Games. Bhavina had also lost to Zhou in her first group match earlier this week.
Bhavina struggled against Zhou, who won five Paralympics medals, including gold medals in Beijing and London, and was unable to execute her strategy properly.
On Friday, she became the first table tennis player from India to reach the Paralympic semi-finals. She defeated Serbia’s Borislava Rankovi 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in the quarter-finals to secure a medal for India in table tennis.
The class of Para Table Tennis is for 1 to 5 wheelchair players. Class 4 players have a good sitting balance and their arms and hands are fully functional.
Bhavina Patel from Mehsana in Gujarat started playing in the blind association 13 years ago in the Vastrapur area of Ahmedabad, where she was a student of ITI for the differently abled. Later he saw children with visual impairments playing table tennis and decided to take up the sport. He won the first medal for the Rotary Club in Ahmedabad. She is married to Nikunj Patel, who has played junior cricket for Gujarat.
Bhavina Patel also became the world number two player in 2011, when she won a silver medal for India at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship. In October 2013, she won a silver medal at the Asian Para Tennis Championships in Beijing.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Bhavina. He tweeted, “Virginal Bhavina Patel created history! She will come home with a historic silver medal. Congratulations for that. His life journey is inspiring and will attract more youth towards sports. After this, the Prime Minister spoke to Bhavina on the phone and congratulated her.
Bhavina, daughter of Hasmukhbhai Patel, who runs a small grocery shop, was not even considered a medal contender, but she created history with her performance. Bhavina, who was infected with polio at the age of just 12 months, said after making the final match, ‘When I came here, I only thought of giving my 100 percent. If you can do this then you will get the medal automatically. That is what I thought.’