Pramod Bhagat defeated Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov to storm into the semifinals of the men’s singles SL3 category in the Tokyo Paralympic Games badminton competition here on Thursday.
Bhagat, the World No 1 in his category and the reigning world champion, beat the Ukrainian 21-12, 21-9 in 25 minutes. This was the second win for Bhagat in this three-player Group, jumping to a big lead in both games before sealing an impressive victory.
Bhagat had beaten compatriot Manoj Sarkar in straight games in his opening match in Tokyo. The SL3 category has six players divided into two groups of three each and Bhagat topped his group by winning his two matches. Sarkar will meet the Ukrainian player, Oleksandr Chyrkov, and the winner will qualify for the semifinals.
Among the other Indians, Krishna Nagar started his campaign with a win in SH6 class and remained on course for reaching the semifinals. Nagar defeated Malaysia’s Didin Taresoh 22-20, 21-10 in the three-player group B in which Brazil’s Goncalves Vitor Tavares is the third player in the group. The Brazilian has also won one match when the Malaysian opponent retired while training 13-18 in the second game after losing the first 21-13.
In Men’s Singles SH6 class, just like in SL3, six players have been divided into two groups with three players each, and two players from each group qualify for the semifinals.
In Women’s Singles SU5, Palak Kolhi too maintained her chances of qualifying for the next round by beating Turkey’s Zehra Baglar 21-12, 21-18. She had lost her first match to Japan’s Ayako Suzuki.
In this group, seven players have been divided into three groups. Two groups — A & B — have three players each while Group C has four. Two players from each group will qualify for the semifinals.
Earlier in the morning, Suhas Yathiraj won his opening group stage match in the preliminary round. He defeated Jan Niklas Pott of Germany in his first match in the SL4 category.
In this group, eight players have been out in two groups of four each. The top two in each group will qualify for the semifinals.
India’s Tarun Dhillon is leading the other Group, having started his campaign with victory against Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom 21-7, 21-13.
There were some setbacks too as Parul Parmar ended her singles campaign with two defeats in the Women’s Singles SL4 class. Parul, 48, is still in contention in women’s doubles SU5 in which she is partnering Palak Kohli.
On Thursday, she lost to Katrin Seibert of Germany 21-23, 21-19, 15-21. She had earlier lost to China’s Cheng Hefang 21-8, 21-2. She and Palak Kohli lost to a higher ranked pair, Cheng Hefang and Ma Hulhul of China 21-7, 21-5 in Women’s Doubles SL3-SU5.