Indian para Table Tennis player Bhavina Patel made history by winning the first ever medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. In the women’s singles event of Class 4 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium, Table 6, she lost the gold match to China’s Zhou Ying and secured herself a silver medal.
She made her way to the finals by defeating Zhang Miao with the score of 3-2.
The 34-year-old paddler had been diagnosed with polio when she was 12-month-old. In her interview with Times of India, the athlete said, “I always thought I am a burden on my family. They had to assist me in every single thing. But they never complained. My parents have been a big support for me at every step. I saw myself as a burden. But I didn’t want to be a burden.”
She said that she worked for calmness for two years as it is very important to handle temperament in sports. Patel added, “And I dedicate this success to the calmness I worked on.”
On her medal win, she said, “I am very happy with my performance. A gold would have been great, but I don’t regret it. I am happy to create history. My opponent was faster than me. She was more experienced than me. I have learned a lot from this. She was ahead of me in every department.”
Bhavina Patel‘s husband is a sportsperson himself, he plays junior cricket for Gujrat. Talking about him Patel thanked him for his support. She said, “Marrying a sportsperson benefitted me a lot. He was there with me every step of the way. He coached me and trained me. He has played cricket so he understands the psychology of a sportsperson. “
“He took care of my diet, practice timings, maintained the time table for training, and most importantly he motivated me whenever I was down. My cricketer husband helped me in table tennis.”
Patel has plans to do even better at the Paris Olympics. She said, “The Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are my main targets right now. The ultimate aim is to win the gold in the Paris Paralympics.”
We request you to support our award-winning journalism by making a financial contribution towards our efforts. Your funds will ensure we can continue to bring you amazing stories of women, and the impact they are making and spotlight half the country's population because they deserve it.