#TokyoParalympics: Bhavina Patel becomes first Indian para-paddler to win silver
Indian table tennis player Bhavina Patel clinched a historic silver medal at Tokyo Paralympics after losing 0-3 to world number one Ying Zhou in the women's singles Class 4 final on Sunday. Patel finished with a 7-11, 5-11, 6-11 loss in the summit clash which lasted 19 minutes. She has become the first Indian para-paddler to win a silver medal. Here are further details.
Earlier, Patel became the first Indian to enter the final of the table tennis event in the Tokyo Paralympics with a hard-fought win over China's Miao Zhang. She stunned the Chinese opponent 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in the semi-final that lasted 34 minutes. The Indian had defeated Rio Paralympics gold medalist Borislava Peric Rankovic in the quarter-final to assure India of a medal.
Patel has won the first medal for India in the ongoing Paralympics. This is the fifth silver medal and overall 13th for India at the Paralympic Games. Patel has become only the second woman para-athlete to finish at the podium after Deepa Malik. The latter claimed the silver medal in shot put in the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
"I am very happy on one side and on one side I was very nervous, so that's why I wasn't able to give my 100% in the match," Patel told ANI. "I am not satisfied and a little bit disappointed. If I gave more effort, I could have won gold. But I will fulfill all the shortcomings in the next tournament," she added.
Patel, who hails from Sundhiya village, Gujarat, was diagnosed with polio when she was one year old. She took up table tennis around 2004. The 34-year-old won her first national title in Para Table Tennis Nationals in Bangaluru in 2007. In 2011, Patel became the world number two after winning silver for India at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship.
In 2013, Patel won the silver medal in the women's singles Class 4 at the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships held in Beijing, China. Four years later, she clinched the bronze medal in the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships in Beijing. She had defeated Korean player Kang in the women's singles Class 4 category 3-0 to win bronze for India.