History-maker Bhavinaben Patel lost her table tennis final in the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 Sunday and settled for the silver medal. She was defeated by China's Zhou Ying in a Class 4 final. (More Sports News)
Bhavinaben lost the first game 11-7 in six minutes. And soon it became 0-2 with her Chinese opponent taking the second game too with relative ease. The match ended, 7-11, 5-11, 6-11 in Zhou's favour, in 17 minutes.
India celebrates National Sports Day on August 29, on the birth anniversary of hockey player Major Dhyan Chand.
Earlier, she had defeated 2016 Rio Paralympics gold winner and world number two Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia to assure India the first medal of the Games. It was followed by a sensational win against China's Miao Zhang in the semis.
The 34-year-old Indian had gone down in straight games (3-11 9-11 2-11) to the Chinese world number one in her opening group match too.
Zhou, a five-time 5 time Paralympic gold medalist, is one of the most decorated para-table tennis players. The 32-year-old had won two medals in each of the singles and team events at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympics.
She is also a six-time World Championship medalist. Her medals include 1 silver and 5 gold medals. Zhou had won 14 Asian Championship medals and five Asian Games gold medals.
Patel, who was diagnosed with polio when she was 12 months old, started playing the sport 13 years ago at the Blind People's Association at Vastrapur area of Ahmedabad where she was a student of ITI for people with disabilities.
She reached world number two ranking in 2011 after winning a silver medal for India in PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship. In October 2013, Patel won another silver in the women’s singles Class 4 at the Asian Para table tennis championships in Beijing.
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.