Indian para-badminton players dished out a gritty performance at the 2019 Thailand International Para-Badminton Championships in Bangkok to sweep as many as 13 medals including three gold, four silver, and six bronze medals.
The World Championships bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar showcased glimpses of grit and determination and was declared the men’s singles SL3 winner after compatriot Pramod Bhagat had to retire midway in the first game 9-11 due to an ankle injury. Later, the duo paired up with each other for the men’s doubles final match against local pair Mongkhon Bunsun and Siripong Teamarrom but was left gasping for breath in the face of the onslaught as they went down by a 16-21,21-8,14-21 scoreline.
Manoj was quoted as saying in the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) release,
In the men’s singles SS6 final match, second seed Krishna Nagar survived waves of attack in the second game from Chu Man Kai of Hong Kong before pulling off a clinical win in a total of three sets 21-17, 18-21, 21-17. But the joy was short-lived, as Nagar alongside Raja Maghotra succumbed to a dominant Hong Kong side before falling short 12-21, 14-21 in the doubles final.
Top-seeded Parul Parmar’s perseverance paid off, as Turkey’s Halime Yildiz seemed to take her feet off the pedal to guide Parmar to an easy victory, 12-21, 8-21 for the women’s SL3 title. Content with the team’s overall performance, India’s Para-Badminton coach Gaurav Khanna said, “I feel proud that India has these big numbers of International Para-Badminton players. We are at an advanced stage in the road to Tokyo 2020 qualification points, so every tournament is important. I am happy that out Tokyo 2020 prospects and hopes are performing to our expectations.”