The paddler has won a silver medal for the country at Tokyo Paralympics 2020. 

India have reasons to celebrate after Bhavina Patel won a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. The Indian contingent consists of 54 para athletes as they aim to bring in a record number of medals from the multi-sport event. The country’s previous best showing was four medals at a single event.

Bhavina Patel has ensured India’s first medal at the Paralympics in incredible fashion. The star paddler has reached the final of the table tennis Class 4 and will play for gold on Sunday. At the very least, she will win the silver medal. However, she will hope to become the first female para athlete from India to win gold at the Paralympics.

The table tennis player has become a star back home, receiving a lot of praise for her incredible performances in Japan. Even the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi came forward to congratulate her on the achievement and wished her the best of luck moving forward. 

Keeping the focus on the incredible Bhavina Patel, here are the five things one must know about her.

5. First Indian to win a medal in table tennis

Bhavina Patel has already written her name in the history books. She has been terrific form at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. These are her maiden Paralympic Games and the world no. 12 has defeated many opponents stronger than her. 

After winning the semi-final, Patel reached the gold medal match and fell short, but will come away with a silver medal. This feat makes her the first-ever Indian para athlete, male or female, to win a Paralympics medal in table tennis.

4. Second Indian female to win a Paralympic medal

Bhavina Patel is creating history in Japan. When she won India’s first-ever Paralympics medal in table tennis, she also became the second female athlete to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. She will follow in the footsteps of Deepa Malik who won a silver at the 2016 Rio Paralympics.

Deepa Malik was the first Indian female para athlete to win a Paralympic medal. She did so by winning the silver in women’s shot put F53 event. Bhavina now has the chance to also become the first Indian female para athlete to win gold at the Paralympics.

3. Defeated the gold and silver medallists of Rio Paralympics

Bhavina Patel’s journey to the finals has not been easy. She started the women’s singles class 4 campaign with a defeat to world no.1 Zhou Ying. However, she defeated world no. 9 Megan Shackleton in a must-win group stage match next. The Indian later went on to overcome world no. 8 Joyce de Oliveira of Brazil at the Round of 16.

She faced 2016 Rio Paralympics gold winner and world no. 2 Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia in the quarter-final. Following a tough victory over the Serbian, Patel was up against world no. 3 Miao Zhang of China (2016 Rio silver medallist). She won that fixture 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, and 11-8 and will now play world’s top ranked player Zhou Ying for the gold. 

2. Diagnosed with polio during her infancy

Bhavina Patel was diagnosed with polio as an one-year-old. She hails from a middle-class family in Gujarat and they could not get her proper treatment back then. Her parents took her to Vishakapatnam when she reached fourth grade for surgery.

However, due to negligence and a lack of discipline, her situation became worse. She plays the sport of table tennis on a wheelchair. After studying till the 12th standard, the Indian paddler joined the Blind People’s Association, Ahmedabad in 2004 where she received the exposure and got into sports.

Bhavina Patel defeated China’s Zhang Miao in an epic encounter at the Tokyo Paralympics.😍🔥 Watch the highlights here.👇 📽️ Eurosport

Posted by Khel Now on Friday, August 27, 2021

Highlights: Bhavina Patel defeated China’s Zhang Miao in an epic encounter at the Tokyo Paralympics.

1. Winner of multiple national and international accolades

A look at Bhavina Patel’s participation suggests she has national and international pedigree. The para paddler has played in over 28 international tournaments alone. During that time, she has managed to win five gold medals for India.

Furthermore, Bhavina Patel is the recipient of the prestigious Sardar Patel Award in 2011/12. The award is given by the Government of India as the highest civilian award in the field of contribution to the unity and integrity of India. Moreover, she also received the Ekalavya Award in 2011/12 as well. It is awarded by the Government of Karnataka for outstanding performance in sports.

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