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Tokyo Paralympics: Pramod Bhagat wins historic badminton gold; Manoj Sarkar claims bronze | XtraTime

Tokyo Paralympics: Pramod Bhagat wins historic badminton gold; Manoj Sarkar claims bronze | XtraTime

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Pramod Bhagat (R) and Manoj Sarkar has won gold and bronze respectively in badminton men’s singles SL3 class at Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.

Xtra Time Web Desk: Reigning world champion Pramod Bhagat claimed a historic gold medal in the men”s singles SL3 class while Manoj Sarkar bagged a bronze as Indian badminton players dished out an impressive performance to continue country”s medal rush at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.

World number one Bhagat, who is also an Asian champion, humbled Great Britain”s Daniel Bethell in the summit clash while Sarkar defeated Japan”s Daisuke Fujihara in the third place play-off. In SL3 classification, athletes with lower limb impairment compete.

The top seed showed great mental fortitude as he prevailed 21-14 21-17 over second seeded Bethell in a thrilling final that lasted 45 minutes at the Yoyogi National Stadium.

The 33-year-old from Bhubaneswar also remains in contention for a bronze medal in mixed doubles SL3-SU5 class.

Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will meet Japanese pair of Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal play off on Sunday. They had lost the semifinals 3-21 15-21 to Indonesian combination of Hary Susanto and Leani Ratri Oktila.

Bhagat, who had contracted polio when he was four years old, picked up the sports after watching his neighbours play. Initially, he competed against able-bodied players before getting into competitive para badminton in 2006.

On court, he has won gold medals at 2017 BWF Turkish Para badminton championship in men”s singles and men”s doubles. He also won gold in 2016 Asia championships, besides a bronze at 2018 Asian Para Games.

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Manoj Sarkar won the bronze medal after beating Daisuke Fujihara 22-20, 21-13 in the men’s singles SL3 event at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday. Sarkar won the first game in 22 minutes and the second in 19 minutes.

Meanwhile, Krishna Nagar beat Britain’s Krysten Coombs 21-10, 21-11 to enter the men’s singles SH6 gold medal match. He will cross swords with Hong Kong”s Chu Man Kai in the final on Sunday. Krishna, who has a short stature, started playing the sport seriously only four years back. She won a bronze at Para Asian Games before claiming a bronze and silver at 2019 World Championships in singles and doubles.

In SL4 class semifinal, Tarun went down narrowly 16-21 21-16 18-21 to Mazur. He will face Setiawan in the bronze medal play off.

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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