Para athletes claim medals in table tennis on Day 9.

The World number two Bhavina Patel beat Nigeria’s Ifechukwude Christiana Ikpeoyi to claim gold in the women’s class 3-5 at the Commonwealth Games. She pummelled her opponent 12-10 11-2 11-9.

Bhavina Patel remained unbeaten throughout the Commonwealth games, highlighting her authority. Hailing from Sundhiya village in Vadnagar, Mehsana in the state of Gujarat, the 35-year-old Bhavina Patel rose to stardom after winning a silver at the Tokyo Paralympics. In the process, she became only the second Indian woman and the first paddler to win a Paralympics medal. Bhavina’s medal-laden career began by winning silver in the 2011 PTI Thailand Open, after which she rose to a career-high world ranking of number 2. Since then, she won another silver in the women’s singles class 4 at the Beijing Asia Tennis Championships in 2013. In the same venue four years later, Bhavina won bronze in the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships. 

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She began playing the sport 14 years ago at the Blind People’s Association in Ahmedabad’s Vastrapur region and was greatly inspired by visually impaired children playing table tennis

Sonalben claimed the bronze medal

Sonalben Manubhai Patel also added to the medals tally, claiming bronze in the women’s singles class 3-5. The 34-year-old beat Sue Bailey 11-5 11-2 11-3. Yesterday, she lost to Ikpeoyi, Bhavina’s finals opponent 0-3. The Southpaw made amends with an assured performance in the match for bronze. Sonalben hails from Viramgam in Gujarat. She was diagnosed with polio when just six months old, leaving her with a 90% disability. After winning a medal in the Para Table Tennis nationals, Sonalben has not looked back and has since been bestowed with the Eklavya award in 2014. 

In the men’s singles classes 3-5 bronze medal play-off, Raj Aravindan Alagar was defeated by Nigerian Isau Ogunkunle 3-0. He got off to a good start and won the first game but could not sustain his form. In the semi-finals, Raj lost 11-7 8-11 4-11 7-11 to fellow Nigerian Nasiru Sule. 

There are 11 classes in Table Tennis Paralympics, grouped as wheelchair (TT 1-5), standing (TT6-10) and intellectual impairment (TT11)

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