Bhavina Patel bags silver medal at Tokyo Paralympics

The Indian table tennis player lost 3-0 to world No. 1 Zhou Ying of China in the final of the women’s singles Class 4 event.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Paralympic Committee of India

India’s Bhavina Patel clinched the silver medal in the women’s singles Class 4 table tennis event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Sunday.

Up against the world No. 1 Zhou Ying of China in the final, Bhavina Patel lost 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-6).

It was India's 13th medal at the Paralympics, the first in table tennis and the first at Tokyo 2020.

Bhavina Patel came into the gold medal match on the back of a string of quality performances that included a win over the 2016 Paralympic champion Borislava Perić-Ranković of Serbia and world No. 3 Zhang Miao of China. The Indian had lost to Zhou in her first group stage match on Wednesday.

At the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, the 34-year-old Bhavina Patel, competing in her debut Para Games, kept pace with Zhou Ying with some smart shot selections and confident serves.

Zhou Ying, however, soon switched gears to win the opening game 11-7.

While Bhavina Patel was outplayed in the second game, the world No. 12 Indian took the fight to her decorated opponent in the third game.

Bhavina Patel altered her strategy and banked on early picks to work some fine angles. But the Chinese player regained control of the match and won it in straight games.

This was Zhou Ying’s sixth Paralympic gold medal and the third in singles.

Zhou Ying won her first Paralympic singles title at her home Games at Beijing 2008 and won again at London 2012. The Chinese ace, however, failed to defend her crown at the 2016 Rio Para Games. She has also been a part of the gold medal-winning Chinese teams in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

Meanwhile, at the Yumenoshima Park, Indian compound archer Jyoti Balyan lost her opening round match of the women’s individual compound - Open event at Tokyo 2020.

The Indian archer suffered a 141-137 loss to Ireland’s Kerrie-Louise Leonard.

Later, in the mixed team event, Jyoti Balyan and Rakesh Kumar began the day well with a comfortable 147-141 win over Thailand's Praphaporn Homjanthuek and Anon Aungaphinan in the Round of 16.

But they lost out in the quarter-finals to Turkey's Oznur Cure and Bulent Korkmaz 153-151.