Udayavni Special

Bhavina becomes first Indian Table Tennis player to enter Paralympics QFs


PTI, Aug 27, 2021, 12:56 PM IST

Tokyo: Bhavinaben Patel on Friday became the first Indian table tennis player to enter the Paralympic quarterfinals with a dominating win over Joyce de Oliveira of Brazil in the women’s singles Class 4 event at the Tokyo Games here.

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.

She will meet Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia in the quarterfinals later in the day.

Athletes in the 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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