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After Bhavina Patel's win, we believe we can defeat Chinese in big games: G. Sathiyan

G Sathiyan throws light on the impact Bhavina Patel's performance might have on India in a conversation with The Bridge.

Bhavina Patel and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran

Bhavina Patel and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 28 Aug 2021 10:23 AM GMT

The Indian para-table tennis star Bhavina Patel created history today when she defeated China's Miao Zhang in the Class 4 semifinals of Women's Singles at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The 34-year-old Indian came from a game down to beat Zhang 3-2 and make her way into the Paralympics Final. Bhavina's win will certainly go down in the annals of Indian sporting history, for she not only defeated a player against whom she had lost 11 times in a row but also became the first Indian to defeat a Chinese player in the medal match of any major tournament.

Beating a Chinese in table tennis is certainly a big deal. They have dominated the sport for years, both in able-bodied and para-sports divisions. In fact, China is the most successful nation in table tennis at both the Olympics and Paralympics, making Bhavina's win even sweeter.

"Bhavina's win has certainly pumped up the entire Indian table tennis fraternity. Yes, we have defeated Chinese players here in there, but never in such a medal match at such a big tournament. Thanks to this win, I am sure all the Indian table tennis players would now start to believe that we can beat the Chinese; they are not invincible," the able-bodied Indian table tennis star Sathiyan Gnanasekaran told The Bridge.

"It is a very big milestone for Bhavina and Indian table tennis in general. None of us has reached the final of the Olympics or Paralympics, so this is huge. Hopefully, she gets the revenge of her first match loss in the final, and a gold medal would be absolutely fantastic," said a visibly elated Sathiyan.

The 28-year-old who recently won two titles – mixed doubles at WTT Contender Budapest and men's singles at the ITTF Czech Open, recently also shed light on his upcoming schedule for the year.

"For now, I would be travelling to Poland for the Superliga, then towards the end of September, I would be travelling for the WTT Star Contender in Doha and the Asian Championships, where Manika Batra and I would be pairing up again," he said.

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