Pramod Bhagat: This gold medal shows one can overcome any difficult situation

Para shuttler Pramod Bhagat hopes his win at the ongoing Tokyo games encourages younger athletes to take up the sport and excel
Pramod Bhagat defeated Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell to clinch the gold medal
Pramod Bhagat defeated Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell to clinch the gold medal
Published on Sep 05, 2021 11:42 AM IST
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BySugandha Rawal

Reigning world champion Pramod Bhagat shuttled his way into history by becoming India’s first-ever para-badminton gold medalist in Paralympics, and the para-athlete just wants the medal to be a reminder to never give up, and pave way for India to become para-badminton hub in the world.

Badminton made its debut at the Paralympics this year, and it surely was a great beginning for India, thanks to Bhagat. It was on Saturday when he scripted history by clinching gold in men’s singles badminton SL3 event at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. He defeated Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell to claim his win.

“This is as big as it can get. There is nothing sweeter than a Paralympic medal. I hope this medal inspires more youngsters to take up the sport. I would like India to be the para-badminton hub in the world,” Bhagat shares with us, adding, “I was over the top. Bethell really pushed me and played a very good game. I am glad I could pull up my game at the crucial juncture”.

His moment got a special touch when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him to congratulate him. “It’s a moment of pride for every Indian that the country’s biggest leader supports and congratulates you. It is something which I will remember throughout my life,” exclaims the 33-year-old, who hails from Attabira in Odisha’s Bargarh district.

While his conversation with Modi was short and sweet, he looks forward to meeting him soon, and “then talking to him at length”.

“This gold medal has proved that irrespective of any difficult situations, you will overcome it with hard work. This past year has been hard not only for me but for everybody. I hope this medal brings a smile on everyone’s faces,” an ecstatic champion tells us.

In fact, Bhagat is proud of all the para-athletes who are making a mark at the Tokyo games. “The results speak for itself of how Indian para-athletes have performed. It is a big win for para-sports and para-badminton in India. I am proud I could deliver my best and win a medal. I hope this will encourage younger athletes to take up the sport and excel,” he expresses.

Bhagat has overcome several challenges that polio brought in his life when he was a kid, and now has a ‘gold’ moment shining bright in his career. Does he see a biopic being made on his life anytime soon?

“I would be the wrong person to comment on this, but I can say for sure that I have a very interesting journey which can be captured well on celluloid. On a lighter note, I would like to see Dhanush or Nawaz (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) essay my character,” he says while signing off.

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Sunday, May 29, 2022