After the successful completion of the Tokyo Olympics 2020, now is the time for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. India sent its largest contingent of athletes for these games as well. And without much delay, India received its first victory through wheelchair table tennis champion, Bhavina Patel. Patel assured a medal to India on Friday after defeating world number two Serbian champion Borislava Rankovic 3-0 and then she advanced to the semifinals of the class 4 table tennis category. Just like everything, victory didn’t come easy for Patel. She was subjected to constant failures before creating history. With her motto of life, “Try and Try again till you succeed”, Bhavina kept her determination and made it through her difficult times of life. With a hard-fought 3-2 triumph against China’s Miao Zhang in a class 4 semifinal on Saturday, Bhavina Patel became the first Indian to reach the final of a Paralympic table tennis event, ensuring India silver.
Born on November 6, 1986, in Sundhiya village, Vadnagar, Gujarat’s Mehsana district, Bhavina Patel contracted poliomyelitis at the age of 12 months. Her father, who came from a middle-class family, was unable to obtain her medical attention when she was small. Despite having to care for a family of five, he was able to have Bhavana operated on in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. However, the operation did not result in the anticipated outcomes since Bhavana was negligent and did not follow the rehab protocol correctly. Despite being confined to a wheelchair from a young age, she attended normal schools in Sundhiya village.
Her life underwent an enormous change when she was introduced to Lalah Doshi, a table tennis teacher at the Blind People’s Association in 2004. She quickly converted into a player, embarking on a career that has led her to the Tokyo Paralympics and a position in Indian sports history.
Bhavina Patel’s Journey and Achievements
Table tennis became her passion after she began playing in 2004 for fitness reasons. She won her maiden national title in Para Table Tennis Nationals in Bangalore in 2007 after three years of hard work and preparation. Bhavina has competed in 28 international events for India, including the World Championships, Thailand Open, and Japan Open. Five gold, thirteen silver, and eight bronze medals have been earned by the 34-year-old. She is rated ninth in the world right now. In 2011, Bhavina won the Silver Medal for India in the Individual Category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship, propelling her to World Number 2. Patel earned a silver medal in the women’s singles Class 4 at the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships in Beijing in October 2013. Bhavina was also a bronze medalist in the 2017 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Asian Para Table Tennis Championship in Beijing, China.
But the path to glory wasn’t so easy as Patel had to overcome so many obstacles and frequent failures. Even after qualifying for the Rio Paralympics 2016, she could play because of technicality. She even lost at the Commonwealth Games 2010 but maintained her composure and will and came back stronger to achieve so many great things
The Tokyo Paralympics 2020
Bhavina Patel’s trajectory has been remarkable at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. It is unmatched by any other athlete and is a dreamy run of perseverance, hard work, and determination in the Games. India’s para table tennis player advanced to the knockout stages of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics after defeating Megan Shackleton of the United Kingdom 3-1 in a dramatic women’s singles match. She secured a medal for India after winning against world number two Serbian champion Borislava Rankovic. On Saturday, Bhavina gave India its first medal at this year’s Paralympics by defeating China’s Miao Zhang in a class 4 semifinal, advancing to the finals. In a hard-fought game on Sunday. Patel claimed the silver medal against China’s Y. Zhou. Her story is one to inspire and give a message of never giving up. The entire country is immensely proud of her and wishes her all the best for her future endeavors.