World Para-Badminton C'ships: Suhas Yathiraj, Pramod Bhagat storm into finals

In the men's singles Side Lower 4 (SL4) category semifinal, world no. 3 Suhas handed the world no. 1 Lucas Mazur of France a straight-game (21-16, 21-19) defeat. Suhas will face either Sukant Kadam or Fredy Setiawan in the final.

Update: 2024-02-24 06:44 GMT

Suhas Yathiraj beat world no. 1 Lucas Mazur to reach the SL3 final of the World Para-Badminton Championships in Pattaya, Thailand. 

Suhas Yathiraj, an IAS officer of the 2007 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre, reached the final of the World Para-Badminton World Championships for the first time on Saturday in Pattaya, Thailand.

In the men's singles Side Lower 4 (SL4) category semifinal, Suhas - ranked third in the world - handed the world no. 1 Lucas Mazur of France - who is also the reigning world championship and Paralympics champion - straight games (21-16, 21-19) defeat. 

Born and raised in Hassan, Karnataka, 40-year-old Suhas, who won the Paralympics silver medal in Tokyo in 2021, pursued engineering from the National Institute of Technology.

He is currently the Secretary and Director General of Youth Welfare and Prantiya Rakshak Dal in the Uttar Pradesh government. 

The Asian Para Games gold medallist, Suhas, an Arjuna awardee, will face Fredy Setiawan of Indonesia in the final. Setiawan defeated India's Sukant Kadam 21-13, 21-19. 

Pramod Bhagat in the SL 3 final

Meanwhile, in an all-Indian clash, legendary Pramod Bhagat edged out fellow Indian para-shuttler Manoj Sakar in the SL3 men's singles semifinal in an intensely fought contest 23-21, 20-22, 21-18. With this victory, Pramod, the defending Paralympic champion, sealed his record ninth World Championships medal.

However, in the other SL 3 men's singles semifinal, Nitesh Kumat went down to Bethell Daniel of England in a three-game thriller (18-21, 22-20, 14-21). Despite the defeat, Nitesh will return home with a bronze medal.

In the SL 3  final, Bethell will clash against Pramod for the gold medal. 

Later today, Pramod will pair up with Sukant in the SL3-SL4 men's doubles semifinal as they take on Mongkhon Bunsun and Siripong Teamarrom of Thailand.

Manisha to defend gold

In the meantime, Manashi Joshi, the five-time World Para-Badminton Championships medallist, went down to Syakuroh Ikhtiar 12-21, 12-21 in the SL3 semifinal. However, the Indian para-shuttler won her sixth World Championships medal by securing a bronze medal at the event.

Manisha Ramadass, the defending champion, fought back from the opening game loss to win her Side Upper (SU) 5 semifinal against Maud Lefort 19-21, 21-12, 21-14. 

In the SH6 semifinal, Rachana Patel and Nithya Sre defeated Daria Bujnicka and Oliwia Szmigiel to reach the women's doubles final. Also reaching the final were, Chirag Baretha and Raj Kumar in the SU 5 category. 

Krishna Nagar, meanwhile, defeated Vitor Tavares of Brazil to reach the SH6 men's singles final.

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