Paddler Bhavina Patel beats Shackleton 3-1 reaches table tennis knockout stages
Indian paddler Bhavina Patel has become the first athlete from the nation to qualify for the knockouts of an event, in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. Bhavina defeated Great Britain’s Megan Shackleton who is ranked ninth in the world rankings, by a margin of 3-1 with 11-7, 9-11, 17-15, 13-11 being the scoreline. This triumph has further recorded India’s maiden win in the ongoing prestigious event.
Bhavina got off to a good start as she took a lead in the first game but Shackleton bounced back. However, the Indian paddler continued her fine form and won the first game 11-7. Bhavinaben and Zhou Ying of China made it to the next round from Group A. Notably, Bhavinaben had lost to the Chinese paddler in her opening match of the Paralympics on Wednesday. She went down to Ying in straight games.
The paddler won twice as many points on serving as her opponent, making her presence felt. This indicated that Bhavina had learned her lessons from the defeat, having conceded a lot of points early in the previous encounter. The second game was even more fiercely fought with the scoreline initially reading 3-3, followed by 6-6 and eventually 9-9. It was anybody’s game from that point onwards and Megan seized the opportunity to showcase her prowess. She picked up the next two points from 9-9, winning the second game 9-11.
Later in the day, India's Sonal Patel will be in action in a Group D match of women's singles table tennis Class 3. Sonal lost 11-9, 3-11, 17-15, 7-11 4-11 against Li Quan of China, world number four and the Rio Paralympics silver medalist on Wednesday.