Dubai Para badminton: Bhagat, four other Indians enter semifinals

Pramod Bhagat defeats compatriot Nehal Gupta in three games in men’s singles SL3 category.

Pramod Bhagat (in picture) will face Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara in the semifinals.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Pramod Bhagat toiled hard before defeating compatriot Nehal Gupta in three games to enter the semifinals of the fourth Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International here on Saturday.

Paralympic gold medallist Bhagat, who won two gold medals at the recent Bahrain Para Badminton International, came back from a game down to beat Gupta 18-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the men’s singles SL3 event.

“I took time to get my rhythm in the match. By that time, Nehal started playing well. He is improving fast and is highly skilled. He has a bright future,” said Bhagat, who will next face Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara, the Paralympic bronze medallist, in mixed doubles.

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By definition, the SL3 category is for players with movement moderately impaired at one side of the body or both legs, or for those without limbs.

In men’s singles SL4 category, Tarun Dhillon also advanced to the semifinals with a 21-15, 20-22, 21-14 win over South Korea’s Cho Nadan. SL4 is for players with movement affected at a low level on one side of the body, or on both legs, or for those without a limb.

The Haryana-based shuttler also entered the men’s doubles SL3-SL4 semifinals partnering Nitesh Kumar.

Joshi, Parmar, Ramadass, Kaur in semis

The women’s SL3 semifinal line up has three Indians. Reigning world champion Manasi Joshi is set to face Australia’s Celine Aurelie Vinot while Mandeep Kaur will meet experienced Parul Parmar in the last four.

Joshi is also through to the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semifinal partnering Ruthick Ragupathi after they pulled off a come-from-behind win over the new pairing of Bhagat and Manisha Ramadass 21-12, 16-21, 19-21.

SU5 is for players with movement affected at a low level in one arm, at a high degree in the non-playing arm, or for those without a limb.

Meanwhile, Parmar and Palak Kohli also advanced to the women's doubles SL3-SU5 semifinals.

Ramadass also progressed to women’s singles SU5 event, defeating Italy’s Rosa Efomo De Marco in straight games 21-17, 21-11. She will play Cathrine Rosengren of Denmark in the semifinals.

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