Bhavina Patel becomes the first Indian in the finals of a table tennis event at Paralympics

Bhavina Patel, a name that has made not only the table tennis fraternity proud but she has also made the country proud of her historic achievement. Not only is she the first Indian to win a medal in table tennis at Paralympics but she is also the only second female sportsperson to win the country a Paralympic medal after Deepa Malik.

Bhavinaben Patel being awarded the Paralympic silver medal.

The Indian paddler Bhavinaben Patel started her Paralympics journey with a loss in the first match but she went on to win the next group stage match. She defeated  Brazil’s Joyce de Oliviera in 3 straight games to enter the quarterfinals of the women’s singles Class 4 category. She then went on to hand defeat to Serbia’s Peric Rankovic in straight games again to enter the semifinals, making her the first Indian to reach a table tennis semifinal at the Paralympics. Bhavina made us even proud after she defeated world no. 3 Zhang Miao of China 3-2 to enter the Paralympic final of the women’s singles table tennis. The Indian paddler had a podium finish but had to settle with a silver medal after she lost to China’s Zhou Ying in 3 games straight. Nevertheless, India is proud of Bhavina Patel and her achievement. Bhavina Patel has opened India’s medal tally at the Paralympics.

Bhavina Patel when asked about her achievement, she said, “I don’t consider myself as disabled, I am always confident I can do anything and today I also proved that we are not behind and para table tennis is as ahead as other sports.” Bhavina started her journey of playing table tennis after she was diagnosed with Polio at the early age of 12 months. Her father Hasmukhbhai Patel could not afford the treatment but managed to gather money for her operation, even though the operation did not give the wanted results but that did not lower down the spirits of the Patel family. She met a table tennis coach Lalah Doshi, who helped her to turn into a table tennis player and maintain fitness. Bhavina won her first national title at the Para Table Tennis Nationals held in Bangalore in 2007 which led her on her remarkable journey after three years of practice.

Bhavina Patel has become a household name after her historic feat at the Paralympic games. She will always be remembered by the table tennis fraternity for achieving the silver medal at the Paralympics. A huge salute to Bhavina for the effort she has made and how she has shown people that differently-abled people aren’t behind in sports.

       Rukmini Salodkar

Bsc Economics (FY B.Sc.)

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