Bhavinaben Patel becomes Gujarat's first sportsperson to win a medal in the Olympics or Paralympics
Bhavinaben Patel has created history by becoming India's first para table tennis player to win a medal at Paralympics.
In a first, the state of Gujarat register earns its first-ever medal in the history of Olympics or Paralympic Games, when table tennis player Bhavinaben Patel entered the semifinals of Tokyo Paralympics on Friday and confirmed a medal for India.
Bhavinaben Patel pulled off a big surprise as she upset Borislava Peric of Serbia, in the quarterfinal as she cruised to a straight games win over the reigning Olympic Champion. The 34-year-old was at her absolute best as she defeated Peric 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 in just 18 minutes.
Hailing from Ahmedabad, Bhavinaben was diagnosed with polio when she was just one year old,. However, Patel has an extremely supportive family who stuck with her through thick and thin.
A former World No. 2 paddler, Bhavinaben became the first female Indian para paddler to book a spot at the Paralympics when she had secured a berth for the 2016 Rio Paralympics but was, sadly, unable to compete.
The other Indian paddler, Sonalben Patel who lost out in the group stage of the Tokyo Paralympics, also hails from Gujarat. Incidentally, Gujarat never had never won a medal in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. In fact, Tokyo Olympics presented India's first-ever Olympian from Gujarat. Shooter Elavenil Valarivan, tennis player Ankita Raina and swimmer Mana Patel were three representatives from the state at the Games.
Apart from Bhavinaben and Sonalben, para shuttler Parul Parmar is also another sportsperson from Gujarat representing the nation in Tokyo Paralympics.