Punjab's Sanjeev Kumar did the country proud by winning a bronze at the second Para French International Badminton Championship, held from April 6 to 9. Part of a 12-member contingent, Sanjeev was the only player from Punjab in the wheelchair class, and claimed the honour in the singles section.
"I am satisfied with my overall performance, although there is a bit of disappointment about missing out on gold. The competition was tough, and I also missed my coach," said the 25-year-old who hails from the remote Telupura village in Abohar sub-division, and trains under Sports Authority of India coach Surinder Mahajan at Panjab University's badminton centre.
"I was sure Sanjeev would come back with a medal; I am very happy with his performance. We will keep working on his game so that he can bag gold next time," shared Mahajan.
In the French championship, Sanjeev remained undefeated in the league stage, and won his quarterfinal encounter against Rouxtan Ludovic (France) 21-2, 21-9 to book a berth in the semifinals.
In the final-four stage, he lost to England's Rooke Martin by a narrow score of 20-22, 17-21, to settle for bronze. This is his third medal from five international outings. From the previous tournaments, Sanjeev has a doubles silver (2009 IWAS World Games in Bangalore) and a singles bronze (2009 Israel Open).
From the national championships he has four gold and a silver. Sanjeev said he would now prepare for the National Championship (July-August), to be followed by Asian Para Olympic Cup to be held in Malaysia, in the month of October.
2nd Asian Para Olympic Cup (2008, Bangalore, singles quarters); IWAS World Games (2009 Bangalore, silver in doubles); Israel Open Badminton Championship (2010 Israel, bronze in singles); Asian Para Games (2010, China, participated in singles); 2nd Para French Badminton Championship (2012, France, bronze in singles)
2008 singles quarters; 2009 gold in doubles; 2010 silver in singles and gold in doubles; 2011 gold in singles and doubles.