Tokyo Paralympics: Bhavinaben Patel assures India medal by storming into semifinals, becomes first Indian to enter Table Tennis semis

Bhavinaben Patel on Friday created history to become the first Indian table tennis player to enter the Paralympic semifinals in the women's singles Class 4 event at the Tokyo Games.
Bhavinaben Patel on Friday created history to become the first Indian table tennis player to enter the Paralympic semifinals in the women's singles Class 4 event at the Tokyo Games.

Tokyo Paralympics: Bhavinaben Patel enters semifinal: Bhavinaben Patel on Friday created history to become the first Indian table tennis player to enter the Paralympic semifinals in the women’s singles Class 4 event at the Tokyo Games. She defeated Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia in three straight games 11-5, 11-6, 11-7. Bhaninaben assured India of a medal in the Paralympics as there is no Bronze medal playoff in Tokyo Paralympics. She is now set to become the first Indian to win a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. Bhavina will take on Zhang Miao of China in the semis on Saturday at 6:10 AM.

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Earlier, she had dominated the quarterfinals securing an easy win over Joyce de Oliveira of Brazil. The 34-year-old Indian beat her Brazillian opponent 12-10 13-11, 11-6 in a Round of 16 contest that lasted 23 minutes.

Athletes in Class 4 category have fair sitting balance and fully functional arms and hands. Their impairment may be due to a lower spinal cord lesion or cerebral palsy.

“My strategy was to play more towards the body of my opponent and that was what my coach told me. I executed my plans,” Patel said after the match.

“My next opponent is world number two, so I have to really focus on my game and hope to win the match.”

Earlier, the Indian had entered the Round of 16 after winning one match and losing the other group game.

She is the only Indian left in the fray in the table tennis competition after compatriot Sonalben Manubhai Patel lost both her group matches on Thursday to bow out.

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