Tokyo Paralympics: Pramod Bhagat bags gold after winning all his matches in 2021
The World No.1 has won all his nine singles matches in 2021 as he won the gold at the Tokyo Paralympics
Indian shuttler Pramod Bhagat continued his fine showing in 2021 at the Tokyo Paralympics as well, as he won the gold medal in the Men's Singles SL3 category. The 33-year-old had earlier in the day defeated Japan's Daisuke Fujihara in the semifinals which ensured that he would win a medal at the Paralympic Games. In the finals, he was up against World No.2 Daniel Bethell from Great Britain whom he defeated in straight sets to clinch the gold.
Pramod Bhagat has been sensational throughout the year 2021 as he had won all his singles matches before the Tokyo Paralympics. The current World No.1 competed in five matches and won all of them and looked in fine form going into the Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
In the group stages, Pramod won his first match against fellow countryman Manoj Sarkar with a scoreline of 21-10, 21-23, and 21-9. In the second group stage match, it was a much more comfortable victory for the 33-year-old as he defeated Ukraine's Oleksandr Chyrkovin in straight sets with the scoreline reading 21-12 and 21-9.
Pramod continued this momentum in the semifinals as well, where he once again won the match in straight sets by 21-11 and 21-16 against Japan's Daisuke Fujihara. In the finals, Pramod was up against his old nemesis Daniel Bethell against whom he had a head-to-head record of 5-2 in his favour and the stage was set for an exciting final.
Pramod dominated the first set winning 21-14 but was under pressure early on in the second set as Daniel took an eight-point lead with the scoreline reading 12-4 in the favour of Bethell and it looked like the match will go into the third set. However, Pramod had other ideas as he staged a strong comeback from there on and continued to chip away at the deficit.
Pramod then eventually took the win with the scoreline of 21-17 and secured the first-ever gold medal in badminton at the Paralympic Games. The scoreline also meant that in all matches in 2021, so far, Pramod has dropped only a single set which shows the domination of the current World No.1 and now a Paralympic Champion as well.