Bhavinaben Patel made history on Friday when he became the first Indian to compete in the semi-finals of the Paralympic Games table tennis competition and secured India a medal. The 34-year-old Gujarat-based paddler beat defending champion and veteran Borislava Peric-Rankovic of Serbia 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in just 18 minutes in their Class 4 women’s singles quarter-final .
“I want to thank all Indians for their blessing and love. I am able to achieve it. I have a semi-final tomorrow, so keep giving me your love,” Bhavina said after the game. Notably, Bhavinaben Hasmukhbhai Patel lost her Group A opening match in Women’s Singles – Class 4 against China’s Zhou Ying by 3-0 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasi.
“Extremely proud of Bhavina’s efforts, very sincere preparation. Congratulations on her consistent practice and focus on training. Very calm when competing. Even the loss in the first game didn’t make her lose her mind around it. She takes the pressure so well, “said Deepa Malik, President of the Indian Paralympic Committee (IPC). “Mental training and skills have been her arsenal to keep winning. She confirms the place in the medal position but we want to see a brighter medal. We are so proud of her, confirming the first medal for the country . I am so proud of Bhavina and excited for tomorrow’s game, ”added the PCI president.
Earlier, Bhavina, who yesterday became the first Indian para-TT player to reach the pre-quarter-finals, beat Brazilian Joyce de Oliveira in consecutive matches as well. Bhavina’s quarterfinal opponent was gold and silver at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Bhavina will be in action in the semi-finals at 6:10 am (IST) on Saturday. (ANI)
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