Tokyo Paralympics: Shuttler Pramod Bhagat Clinches Gold

Indian shuttler Pramod Bhagat clinched the gold medal after defeating Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell by 2-0 in the men’s singles SL3 — final match here at Yoyogi National Stadium on Saturday.

Battling it out on Court 1, the first-seed Indian overwhelmed the second-seed Daniel Bethell in straight sets by 21-14 and 21-17 in 45 minutes. This is India’s first medal in badminton at the Tokyo Paralympics.
There was very little to separate both players in the initial minutes of the first set but soon Pramod who was first trailing 3-5 gained his way back into the match. The Indian went into the mid-game interval with an 11-8 lead. Bhagat continued with his agility as he dictated the pace and moved Bethell back and forth on the court. In 14 minutes, Pramod clinched the first set by 21-14.

Bethell made Bhagat work very hard in the second set as he tested the number-one seed’s patience thoroughly. The Briton ran with an 11-4 lead in the mid-game interval but soon Bhagat clawed his way back into the match as he cut the deficit to just one point on 13-12. With the better kill shots in his arsenal, the Indian soon levelled the match at 15-15. From then, Pramod continued to dominate as he again started controlling the rhythm of the match to find the top step of the podium. He won the second set by 21-11.

Earlier in the day, the duo of Pramod Bhagat and Palak Kohli lost by 2-0 in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semi-final match. The number one seed Leani Ratri Oktila and Hary Susanto of Indonesia defeated the Indians in straight sets by 21-3 and 21-15 in just 20 minutes. Kohli and Bhagat will clash with Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino of Japan in the bronze medal match. (ANI)

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