Bhavina on the cusp of golden glory

TT sensation will take on World No. 1 in the final

Bhavina Patel continued to script history as she became the first Indian to enter the final of a table tennis event in the Paralympics with a hard-fought 3-2 win over China’s Miao Zhang in a Class 4 semifinal here on Saturday.

The 34-year-old Indian stunned her World No. 3 opponent 7-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 in a showdown that lasted 34 minutes. It was Bhavina’s first victory against the former World No. 1 in 12 attempts.

Bhavina will take on another Chinese, World No.1 Ying Zhou, in the summit clash scheduled to be played at 7.15 a.m. (IST) on Sunday.

Give 100%

“When I came here, I just thought that I would give my 100% without thinking of anything. If you give 100%, the medal will come, that was what I thought,” said Bhavina, who was diagnosed with polio when she was a 12-year-old.

“If I continue with this confidence with the blessings of the people of my country, I think I will win gold tomorrow. I am ready for the final and I have to give 100% in the final also,” said Bhavina.

PM’s encouragement

Prime Minister lauded Bhavina’s incredible achievement tweeting “Congratulations Bhavina Patel! You played excellently. The entire nation is praying for your success and will be cheering for you tomorrow. Give your best and play without any pressure. Your accomplishments inspire the entire nation.”

Rakesh advances

In archery, Rakesh Kumar continued his impressive run of form to storm into the pre-quarterfinals while teammate Shyam Sundar Swami made a second round exit as Indian compound archers had a mixed day.

Rakesh Kumar defeated Hong Kong’s Ngai Ka Chuen 144-131 to win his 1/16 elimination match, while Shyam Sundar went down 139-142 against Matt Stutzman of the USA.

Javelin star Ranjeet Bhati bowed out after failing to register even a single vailid throw in his six attempts in the men’s class F57 final.

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