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Tokyo Paralympics: How can Sonalben Patel and Bhavinaben Patel reach Round 16 of table tennis
Despite losing in their opening matches, both the para table tennis players Sonalben Patel and Bhavinaben Patel have chances of making it to the Round of 16.
The Tokyo Paralympics campaign began for India on Wednesday with our para paddlers Sonalben Patel and Bhavinaben Patel taking part in the women's singles class 3 and class 4 table tennis events.
Sonalben Patel suffered a close 3-2 defeat against China's Qian Li in her opening match of Group D in Women's Singles Class 3 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Wednesday. World number four Qian Li defeated Sonalben in five sets by 3-2 (9-11, 11-3, 15-17, 11-7, 11-4) in 36 minutes.
Bhavinaben Hasmukhbhai Patel lost to China's Zhou Ying by 3-0 in her opening match of Group A in Women's Singles - Class 4 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium - Table 5 on Wednesday. 2008 and 2012 Olympic champion, Zhou Ying overwhelmed Bhavinaben Patel in straight sets by 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-2) in just 18 minutes.
While both the para paddlers lost their opening matches of the Paralympics, they still could qualify to the Round of 16 of the games and stay in contention to win medals.
Both the players have to face two opponents in their group of a total of three players. The top two players from the group will advance to the Round of 16.
Sonalben's Group D of women's singles class 3 comprises Qian Li and South Korea's Mi Gyu Lee. Sonalben will now be up against Gyu Lee on Thursday in her second Group D match. If Sonalben is able to beat the South Korean, then all the three participants will have 1 win and 1 loss each as, Gyu Lee earlier defeated Qian Li by 3-0. If such a situation happens, the points based on the player's performance in the two matches will be calculated and the top two will advance. If Sonal fails to beat Gyu Lee, she will be knocked out of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Bhavinaben's Group A of women's singles comprises Zhou Ying and Megan Shackleton of Great Britain. Bhavinaben will now clash with Shackleton on Thursday. Bhavinaben can only qualify for the Round of 16, if she beats Shackleton tomorrow. Earlier today, Ying had defeated Shackleton by 3-0, which has made Ying the group topper and the first choice to advance to Round of 16. Both Bhavinaben and Shackleton will be having a tough contest among themselves and the winner will progress to the next round.