Pramod Bhagat, From A polio-stricken To India’s First Gold Medalist At Tokyo Paralympics in Badminton

Pramod Bhagat won India its fourth gold medal in badminton taking the medal tally to 17 including, seven silver, and six bronze at the Paralympics so far.

By Vaishali Pandey/ The Newster

Pramod Bhagat

On Saturday, India’s Pramod Bhagat defeated Great Britain’s Daniell Bethell in Men’s Singles SL3 badminton gold medal match at the Tokyo Paralympics. This is India’s first medal in the Paralympic Games in badminton.

Manoj Sarkar won the Bronze medal in the same category, defeating Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara.

India has won 17 medals at the Paralympics so far, including four gold, seven silver, and six bronze.

Outstanding Comeback

The top-seeded Indian, who is also an Asian champion, showed remarkable mental toughness to beat second-seeded Bethell 21-14, 21-17 in a dramatic 45-minute final at the Yoyogi National Stadium.

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Bhagat was behind 8 points in the second game before rallying and winning the match 21-14, 21-17.

In the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 division, the 33-year-old Bhagat from Bhubaneswar is still in contention for a bronze medal.

On Sunday, Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will compete for the bronze medal against Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino of Japan.

Earlier in the day, they had lost the semi-finals 3-21, 15-21 to an Indonesian duo of Hary Susanto and Leani Ratri Oktila.

From A Polio-Affected To India’s First Gold Medalist In Badminton, Pramod Bhagat’s journey to Olympics

Bhagat, who was diagnosed with polio when he was four years old, began participating in sports after witnessing his neighbours do so. Before entering competitive para-badminton in 2006, he competed against able-bodied players.

He went on to become one of the greatest para shuttlers in the country, winning 45 international medals, including four world championship gold medals and gold and bronze medals at the 2018 Asian Para Games.

He, then, began his career as a badminton instructor but took a break in 2019 to focus on qualifying for the Tokyo Paralympics.

In 2019, he was honoured with the Arjuna Award and the Biju Patnaik Award for Sports Excellence in India.


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