Gift for entire nation: India celebrates Bhavina Patel’s silver win
- Indian table tennis player Bhavina Patel won silver at Tokyo Paralympics
- She lost to world number one Ying Zhou in the women’s singles class 4 final
- PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi and others have congratulated Patel on her silver win
Congratulations poured in for Indian table tennis player Bhavina Patel who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Sunday after going down 0–3 to world number one Chinese paddler Ying Zhou in the women’s singles class four final. Bhavinaben Patel, the 34-year-old paddler concluded her Paralympic run with a 7–11, 5–11 and 6–11 loss to Ying Zhou, a two-time gold medallist.
The Indian paddler’s silver win came on the day India celebrates National Sports Day. Deepa Malik, India’s first woman to win a Paralympic medal, said on Twitter, “Congratulations Bhavina Patel so amazing to win a medal at Tokyo2020 on National Sports Day. Perfect day to bring home the metal…A gift for entire nation.”
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated Bhavina Patel on her achievement. President Kovind said, "...Your extraordinary determination and skills have brought glory to India. My congratulations to you on this exceptional achievement.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “The remarkable Bhavina Patel has scripted history! She brings home a historic Silver medal. Congratulations to her for it. Her life journey is motivating and will also draw more youngsters towards sports.”
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also congratulated the table tennis player. He said, “Congratulations to Bhavina Patel for winning the silver. India applauds your achievement. You have done the nation proud.”
Indian cricketers VVS Laxman and Virender Singh Sehwag also congratulated the paddler.
Several ministers and other political leaders also congratulated the tennis player.
Meanwhile, family members of the Paralympian silver medal winner performed Garba to celebrate her win.
Bhavinaben Patel was diagnosed with polio when she was 12 months old. Bhavina defeated world no 3 Miao Zhang of China 7-11 11-7 11-4 9-11 11-8 in the semifinal showdown on Saturday to make her way to the finals and win the silver medal.
In the quarterfinal on Friday, Patel had defeated 2016 Rio Paralympics gold medallist and world number two Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia to assure a medal and script history.
Bhavina hails from Sundhiya village in Gujarat’s Mehsana. The daughter of a shopkeeper, Bhavina was not considered among India’s bright medal prospects at the Paralympic Games.
"She has made us proud, we will give her a grand welcome on her return," Bhavina's father Hasmukhbhai Patel told ANI in Mehsana, Gujarat, where her friends and family members erupted in joy after her historic medal was confirmed.