Yathiraj, Pramod, Krishna win gold at Para Badminton World Championships

Pattaya (Thailand), Feb 25 (PTI) India’s Suhas Yathiraj, Pramod Bhagat and Krishna Nagar capped their impressive run by securing gold medals in men’s singles SL4, SL3 and SH6 class respectively at the Para Badminton World Championship here on Sunday.

The world No 3 Yathiraj, a Paralymic silver medallist, outwitted Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan 21-18 21-18 in SL4 final (standing/lower limb impairment/minor) for her maiden world title.

“Gold it is, happy and proud to be world champion,” tweeted the 40-year-old Yathiraj, who hails from Karnataka and is an IAS officer of the 2007 batch of Uttar Pradesh cadre.

Yathiraj, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, is currently the secretary and director general of Youth Welfare and Prantiya Rakshak Dal in the UP government.

Tokyo Paralymic gold medallist Bhagat, who won a gold and two bronze at the Para Asian Games in China, edged out England’s Daniel Bethell 14-21 21-15 21-14 in SL3 (standing/lower limb impairment/severe) final.

Bhagat thus completed a hat-trick of crowns after Stoke Mandeville in 2015 and Basel in 2019. He also won a gold medal at 2022 Tokyo and 2009 Seoul edition.

“This win holds a very special place in my heart for various reasons,” said the Bihar-born shuttler, one of the six siblings, who was diagnosed with polio when he was five years old.

“First being that I have managed to equal my idol Lin Dan’s record of five world championships and second being having been able to retain three consecutive world championships.” Apart from the gold, the 35-year-old also won two bronze medals in men’s doubles and mixed doubles along with Sukant Kadam and Manisha Ramadass respectively. The three medals took his tally to 14, which includes 6 gold, 3 silver, 5 bronze across categories.

In SH6 category (standing/short stature), Krishna Nagar, a Paralympic gold medal winner, also emerged champion after prevailing 22-20 22-20 over China’s Lin Naili in another men’s singles final.

In women’s singles SU5 (standing/upper limb impairment), Manisha Ramadass signed off with a silver medal after losing 16-21 16-21 to China’s Yang Qiu Xia in the final.

The men’s doubles pair of Chirag Baretha and Raj Kumar and women’s doubles combination of Rachana Shaileshkumar and Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan settled for a silver each, after losing their respective final matches in SU5 and SH6 categories.

In women’s doubles (SL3-SU5) category, Manasi Joshi and Thulasimathi Murugesan also signed off with a silver medal after losing 20-22 17-21 to Indonesian combination of Leani Ratri Oktila and Khalimatus Sadiyah in the final.

Bhagat vs Bethell =========== Pramod and Bethell enjoy a healthy rivalry with the England shuttler having won 11 times in 17 meetings.

The final turned out to be an exhaustive and tight contest as the duo engaged in a slugfest for an hour and 40 minutes.

“This match with Bethell would be my toughest both mentally and physically. I have not been playing well against Bethell past few months and this was my time to prove doubters wrong.

“The match was exhaustive and Bethell played brilliantly but somehow, I managed to pull out a win,” Bhagat said.

Source: PTI News


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