World no. 1 para shuttler Pramod Bhagat got off on the right foot at the Tokyo Paralympics. Bhagat kicked off his single’s campaign with a win over Manoj Sarkar in a thrilling all Indian encounter. The top seed won the group A encounter with a 2-1 scoreline as Sarkar did his best to hold the fort but failed despite a valiant effort.
Bhagat was right on the money from the get-go as he rushed off to a great start as she took the opening game 21-10. Sarkar came roaring back in the second set to overturn a seven-point lead and take the second game, setting up an edge of the seat thriller. But it was not the case as Pramod eased to a 21-9 win to pocket his opening game.
Palak Kohli off to a rough start at the Tokyo Paralympics
19-year-old Palak Kohli‘s Paralympics debut in singles turned out to be a bitter affair as the teenager faced a crushing defeat. Palak went down in straight games, 21-4, 21-7, to Japan’s Suzuki Ayako. The Indian was no match to the top seed as she was hammered by the home favourite.
Suzuki strolled to a win in the opening group A match as Palak yielded without a fight. The Indian made countless unforced errors during the course of the match, hitting the shuttle out of the court on every occasion she went on the offensive. Coach Gaurav Khanna’s repeated advice had no effect on a rather rattled looking Palak as she failed to rectify her errors.
Pramod and Palak go down to second seeds in opening game of mixed doubles
Indian mixed team pair of Pramod Bhagat and Palak Kohli went down fighting against second seeds Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel in the group B opener. Pramod and Palak put up a great fight but the French proved too good for the World rank 37 pair. Bhagat and Kohli, competing in SL3-SU5 class, went down 9-21, 21-15, 19-21 against the French team.
The first game saw Mazur and Noel put up a dominant show as the Indians struggled to keep up. But Pramod and Palak are not one to give up as they came storming back to take a slender lead before pocketing the game. The final game saw both Pramod and Palak stage a comeback as they took a point lead after trailing 13-9. But the French soon grabbed the lead eventually edging out the Indian pair.