Indian para paddler Bhavina Patel pulled off her third upset in a row to cruise into the semifinals of the Tokyo Paralympics. Following a rough start, Bhavina has bounced back strongly to win three matches on the trot to make her place in the final four of the C4 category. The ace para paddler is the first Indian to feature in the Paralympics semifinal in the sport.
Bhavina sprung a surprise on defending champion, Serbia’s Borislava Peric-Rankovic to win the quarterfinal clash in three straight games. The Indian started off strongly rushing to a six-point lead before clinching the first game 11-5. The World no.2 tried to fight back but Bhavina was up to the task as she took the second and third games 11-6 and 11-7 to seal a semifinal berth.
Bhavina Patel bounces back to finish group stage on a high
Bhavina Patel didn’t have a great start to the campaign as she lost her opening encounter to China’s Ying Zhou in straight games of 3-11, 9-11, 2-11. But she bounced back to clinch an edge of the seat thriller against Great Britain’s Megan Shackleton to advance to the next round.
Riding on the momentum, she squared off with Brazil’s Joyce De Oliviera in the round of 16. The 12th ranked Indian toppled World no.8 in straight games to advance. While the first two games were closely fought affairs, Bhavina put her best foot forward to win them 12-10 and 13-11 before decimating Oliviera in the final game to clinch the game and the match.
Despite a setback early on, the ace paddler didn’t give up and came roaring back to secure a berth in the semifinal becoming India’s first medallist at the Tokyo Paralympics. If Bhavina Patel continues her good work, the dark horse might very well secure a top-two finish.