Para shuttler Mandeep Kaur registered a commanding win over world champion Oksana Kozyna while Nehal Gupta claimed two gold medals as the Indian team signed off with a total of 14 medals at the Peru Para-Badminton International 2022 in Lima, Peru.
Overall, India claimed six gold, one silver and seven bronze medals to end the year on a strong note.
Mandeep, who lost to Oksana Kozyna in the semifinals of the World Championships in Tokyo last month, produced a dominating show to defeat and exact revenge against the Ukrainian 21-11, 21-11 in 30 minutes.
“Extremely happy with my performance here at Peru Para-Badminton International Tournament 2022. The world championship draw came in such a way that I and Oksana met in the quarterfinals, where I lost in three close sets.
“I and my coach Gaurav sir couldn’t sleep properly after that defeat. We came to participate in Peru International majorly for Oksana and I am glad that we could do whatever we planned.
“I am happy that I have settled the scores with her (Kozyna),” said Mandeep, who also took a silver and bronze medal in women’s and mixed doubles SL3-SU5, respectively.
Mandeep along with Kelly Edith Ari Escalante lost to senior compatriot Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar and Vaishali Nilesh Patel 21-17, 21-19 in the final.
Twin gold medals
On the other hand, 17-year-old Gupta came out with an impressive show to clinch two gold medals in men’s singles SL3 and men’s doubles SL3-SL4 events, the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) informed in a release on Tuesday.
Gupta first paired up with Brazilian Johann Breno to defeat local pair Renzo Diquez Bances Morales and Pedro Pablo De Vinatea 21-16, 21-13 in the doubles, before he got the better of top French para shuttler Mathieu Thomas 21-16, 21-14 in the men’s singles.
This title win will boost the confidence of the youngster Gupta who has strong opponents like Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar at home in the men’s singles SL3 category.
Gold for Sivan, Kadam too
There was more joy for Team India as Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan, another promising star from the Indian Para-Badminton circuit, surprised World Championships silver medallist Peru’s Giuliana Poveda Flores 21-6, 21-13 in women’s singles SH6 finals to wrap up the year with gold. Sivan had three bronze medals at the Worlds.
Meanwhile, World Championship bronze medallist Sukant Kadam overcame Singapore’s Chee Hiong Ang 21-14, 21-15 for the men’s singles SL4 gold medal.
The bronze medallists were Umesh Vikram Kumar (MS SL3), Parul Parmar (WS SL3), Nehal Gupta and Mandeep Kaur (XD SL3-SU5), Arati Patil (WS SU5), Rachana Patel and Nithya Sre (WD SH6), Charanjeet Kaur (WD SL3-SU5), Dilleshwar Rao (MD SL3-SL4).
With this, the Indian para shuttlers wrapped up the season with the Peru International and will start their new season with the Spanish Para-Badminton International in February 2023.