Pramod Bhagat wins gold in badminton singles SL3 at Tokyo Paralympics

Pramod Bhagat won the gold medal after beating Daniel Bethell 21-14, 21-17 in the men's singles SL3 event at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.

Indian shuttler Pramod Bhagat in action.   -  Getty Images

Pramod Bhagat won the gold medal after beating Daniel Bethell 21-14, 21-17 in the men's singles SL3 event at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.

Bhagat won the first game in 21 minutes and the second in 24 minutes.

Bhagat's compatriot Manoj Sarkar won the bronze medal after beating Daisuke Fujihara 22-20, 21-13 in the men's singles SL3.

The 33-year-old Bhagat, the current World No. 1, secured a 21-11, 21-16 win over Japan's Fujihara in the first men's singles SL3 class semifinal, which lasted 36 minutes.

The 33-year-old  Indian shuttler, who clinched the gold in the SL3 category of badminton, said the British rival was a very tough
opponent.

“In fact, I learnt a lot from the mistakes I made at this very venue in a test event when I lost to him. Executed my game-plan pretty well,” the top-seeded Pramod said."

"I focussed on each and every point to emerge winner despite being down at one stage. Never entertained any negative thoughts right through the contest.”

“I dedicate this medal to my parents who are no more. They always dreamt of me going to the Paralympics and bringing laurels to the country. They would have been the happiest of all if they were to be around,” the World No.1 Pramod said.

“I am also grateful to all the Indians who have supported and believed in my ability. The feeling of winning gold is unmatched. The emotions when the National Anthem was played when I was standing on the podium was something which I will never forget. There can’t be any better feeling for any athlete,” the champion shuttler said.

Manoj Sarkar wins bronze in badminton singles SL3 at Tokyo Paralympics  

Bhagat and Palak Kohli lost 21-3, 21-15 to Indonesia's Susanto Hary and Oktila Leani Ratri in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semifinals. The duo will contest the bronze medal match on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Krishna Nagar beat Britain's Krysten Coombs 21-10, 21-11 to enter the men's singles SH6 gold medal match.

India's medal tally now stands at 17 at these Paralympics. It has won four golds, seven silvers and six bronze medals. This is India's best tally at a single edition of the Para Games. It had won four medals at Rio 2016 and four at the 1984 Paralympics.

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