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Paralympic Games: Indias Bhavina scripts history reaching Table Tennis finals
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Paralympic Games: India's Bhavina scripts history reaching Table Tennis finals

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Tokyo: Indian paddler Bhavina Patel moved into the finals of Paralympics table tennis at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Saturday, defeating China's Zhang Miao in the semis.

Bhavinaben started badly as Zhang won the opening game for 11-7. The latter scored five straight points in the first essay. But the Indian came back in the second game, defeating her opponent for 11-7. The game went neck to neck till 8-6, but Bhavinaben sealed it.

In the third, Bhavinaben scored a 5-0 with aggression and wrapped the game at 11-4. Though Zhang came back in the next round with 11-9, taking the match to a decider, Bhavinaben held her nerves to finish the game in her favour.

Bhavinaben said that she never thought of reaching finals but only focused on giving her total effort in every match. She is optimistic that if she keeps performing like this, she will win the gold. She said she is mentally ready for the finals. She said that there is an opinion that beating a Chinese player is impossible, which she did and proved that nothing is impossible.

She thanked all of those, including the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), Sports Association of India (SAI), blind people association and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), who helped and supported her.

Meanwhile, congratulating Bhavina, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Twitter said that the entire nation is praying for her success and will be cheering for her tomorrow.

"Give your best and play without any pressure. Your accomplishments inspire the entire nation," tweeted PM Narendra Modi.

First-time Paralympian Bhavina has now assured India at least a silver medal, the first in table tennis at the Paralympic Games. India's 12 medals at the Paralympics so far have come from three sports -- athletics (10 including 3 gold), powerlifting (1 bronze), and swimming (1 gold).

In the final to be played on Sunday, Bhavina will take on Chinese World No. 1 Zhou Ying, the player to whom she had lost in straight games in her first match in Tokyo Paralympics in the group stage.

It is a sensational comeback for the Indian paddler as she not only made it past the preliminary round after losing to Zhou but also beat three strong opponents including the Rio 2016 gold medallist Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia and silver medallist Miao to reach the final.

If she wins the final against Zhou Ying on Sunday, Bhavina will become the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympic Games. She will be only the fourth person ever after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004, 2016), and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016) to win a gold medal for India at the Paralympic Games.

If she loses, she joins Deepa Malik as the only woman to win a medal for India in the Paralympic Games.

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TAGS:Tokyo Paralympic Games Tokyo Olympics BhavinaPatel 
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