Bhavina Patel storms into Tokyo Paralympics TT final

The Indian table tennis player beat the Rio 2016 silver medallist, Zhang Miao of China, in the semis to earn a gold medal match in her debut Para Games.

By Naveen Peter
Picture by Paralympic Committee of India

India’s Bhavina Patel will compete for the gold medal in the women’s singles Class 4 table tennis event at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics on Sunday.

Bhavina Patel beat world No. 3 Zhang Miao of China 3-2 in the semi-finals to make the gold medal match in her debut Para Games. On Friday, Bhavina Patel became the first Indian table tennis player to secure a Paralympic medal

At the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Saturday, the 34-year-old Indian athlete was in for a tough challenge but she kept her composure to eke out a 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 win over the silver medallist from the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Bhavina Patel will face another Chinese, Ying Zhou, in the final. The two faced off in the group stages at Tokyo 2020 with the Chinese table tennis player recording a comfortable 3-0 win in under 20 minutes.

Ying Zhou is the reigning world No. 1 in the category and is looking for her sixth Paralympic gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

Bhavina Patel’s run at the Tokyo Paralympics so far has been inspirational.

While she stunned the reigning Paralympic champion, Serbia’s Borislava Perić-Ranković, in the quarter-final, Bhavina Patel saw off Brazilian Joyce de Oliveira with relative ease in the Round of 16.

Earlier, at the Yumenoshima Park, Indian men’s compound archers had a mixed day in the individual compound - Open event.

While Rakesh Kumar beat Ngai Ka Chuen of Hong Kong, China 144-131 to move into the Round of 16, Shyam Sundar Swami lost to Matt Stutzman of the USA 142-139.

Rakesh Kumar will face Marian Marecak of Slovakia on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, in the men's javelin throw (F57), India's Ranjeet Bhati bowed out of the competition failing to register a valid throw in his six attempts.