Tokyo Paralympics: Suhas Yathiraj gets silver in badminton SL4 class
- Suhas Yathiraj lost to France's Lucas Mazur
- He became the first IAS officer to win a Paralympic medal
- He competed in the badminton men's singles SL 4 class event
Suhas Yathiraj, on Sunday, lost to France's Lucas Mazur only to take home a silver medal in the badminton men's singles SL4 class event at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Owing to this, Noida DM Suhas Yathiraj became the first IAS officer to win a medal at the Paralympics. With this India got its 8th silver of the Games.
The Indian lost 21-15, 17-21, 21-15 in an entertaining encounter.
The 38-year-old Noida district magistrate, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, produced a fighting effort before narrowly going down to two-time world champion Mazur in a 62-minute summit clash.
Suhas had lost to Mazur, who has won three gold medals in European Championships as well, in the qualifying group A match but the Indian made a tremendous effort in the final to challenge his world No. 1 rival.
Earlier in the semifinal, Suhas outwitted Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan 21-9, 21-15.
In the SL4 bronze medal play-off, second seed Tarun Dhillon went down 17-21, 11-21 to Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan in 32 minutes to miss out on a medal at the Totogi national stadium.
A computer engineer, Suhas went on to become an IAS officer and has been posted as a district magistrate of Noida since 2020, a role that saw him at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior to his departure to Tokyo in the last week of August, Suhas, when asked about his badminton practice and work as DM, had told reporters, “I practice from 10pm for two hours after all the day’s works are over. I have been managing my game and administrative duties this way for around six years now.”
Suhas said his professional journey started in 2016 while he was the DM of Azamgarh district in eastern UP and a badminton championship was organized there.
On the court, he has won gold medals at the 2017 BWF Turkish Para badminton championship in men's singles and men's doubles. He also won gold in the 2016 Asia championships, besides a bronze at the 2018 Asian Para Games. More medals are in store for India as Krishna Nagar also sailed into the men's singles SH6 class final.
Pramod Bhagat, 33, and his partner Palak Kohli, 19, will meet Japanese pair of Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal play-off in mixed doubles SL3-SU5 class later on Sunday.