Indian para badminton player Pramod Bhagat qualified for the semi-finals in the men’s singles SL3 category at the Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday.
At the Yoyogi National Stadium, the three-time world champion beat Ukranie’s Oleksandr Chyrkov 21-12, 21-9 in their Group A match and booked a place in the last-four of the competition.
Pramod Bhagat, the top seed at Tokyo 2020, had won his first group stage tie against compatriot Manoj Sarkar on Wednesday. Sarkar will face Chyrkov on Friday to decide the other semis entrant from the group. The top two players from each group progress to the semis.
On a largely successful day for the Indian shuttlers, most inched closer to making the knock-out stage in their respective categories.
In the men’s singles SL4 class, Suhas Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon were off to a flying start with dominating wins in their respective group stage matches.
In Group A, Suhas Yathiraj beat Jan-Niklas Pott of Germany 21-9, 21-3 while Tarun Dhillon got the better of Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom 21-7, 21-13 in Group B.
Krishna Nagar, too, began his Tokyo 2020 campaign with a fine win in the men’s singles SH6 category. Seeded second in the competition, the Indian para badminton player beat Didin Taresoh of Malaysia 22-20, 21-10 in their opening Group B match.
Among women, 19-year-old Palak Kohli bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to register her first win at Tokyo 2020. In the women’s SU5 division, Palak Kohli beat Zehra Baglar of Turkey 21-12, 21-18 to keep her hopes of a place in the knock-out stages alive.
Meanwhile, in women’s doubles SL3-SU5, the Indian pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar lost to the second seeds Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui of China. The Chinese team won their opening Group B match 21-7, 21-5.
Later, Parul Parmar’s stay at Tokyo 2020 was cut short following two losses in the group stage of the women’s singles SL4 category.
In her first match, the Indian para badminton player lost to Cheng Hefang 8-21, 2-21 and later bowed out to Germany’s Katrin Seibert 21-23, 21-19, 15-21.
Pistol shooter Rahul Jakhar falls short at Tokyo 2020
Earlier in the day, India’s pistol shooter Rahul Jakhar narrowly missed a medal in the mixed 25m pistol SH1 event at the Asaka shooting range in Tokyo.
Though the world no. 8 made it to the final as the second-best shooter after two rounds of qualification, Rahul Jakhar endured an inconsistent run in the medal round to finish fifth.
Meanwhile, India’s representative in taekwondo, Aruna Tanwar, pulled out of the Tokyo Paralympics following an injury.
Competing in the women's K44-49kg class, the Indian athlete began well with a 15-2 win over Serbia’s Danijela Jovanovic. However, she suffered a 'possible’ fracture of her left forearm and right foot during the bout.
Aruna Tanwar lost the following bout to Peruvian athlete Leonor Espinoza Carranza 28-9 and pulled out of the repechage round.
Prachi Yadav sailed into the semi-finals of the women's 200m VL2 event in canoe sprint at Tokyo 2020. Competing in the opening heat of the competition, the Indian athlete clocked 1:11.098s to finish fourth.
In athletics, Arvind finished seventh in the men’s shot put F35 class. His best throw measured at 13.48 metres.