Tokyo Paralympics: India's Manoj Sarkar wins bronze in men's singles (SL3) badminton event
- Tokyo Paralympics: Indian shuttler Manoj Sarkar beat Japan's Daisuke Fujihara 22-20,21-13 in a pulsating to bronze in the men's singles (SL3) badminton category.
India's Manoj Sarkar on Saturday won the bronze medal in the men's singles (SL3) badminton event to better India's medal tally at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics in Japan. He defeated Japan's Daisuke Fujihara 22-20,21-13 in the final to continue's India's medal rush.
Manoj had to battle hard against his Japanese counterpart in the first game. Despite leading 18-14, the Indian was taken aback by Fujihara's comeback, who stormed to the game point opportunity first. However, Manoj kept his nerves and eventually claimed the game 22-20.
In 19 minutes, he won the second game 21-13 to seal another medal for the country in badminton.
Earlier, Manoj's Paralympics campaign did not get off to a bright start in Group A. He lost his first game 10-21, 23-21,9-21 to compatriot Pramod Bhagat.
However, he won his second group 21-16,21-9 against Ukraine's Oleksandr Chyrkov to make the semifinals. In the last-four stage, he went to Great Britain's Daniel Bethell 8-21,10-21 to qualify for the bronze medal match.
In the semifinals, 31-year-old Manoj, who whose right leg was affected after he contracted polio at age one, couldn't get into any sort of rhythm against second seeded Great Britain's Daniel Bethell, going down 8-21 10-21 in the men's singles SL3 class.
But he recovered quickly from the defeat to produce a superb show to claim the bronze.
Sarkar had taken up badminton at age five but it was the passion to win against his elder brothers which led him to play the sports seriously. He played inter-school competition against able-bodied players till the 11th grade before starting to compete in para-badminton in 2011.
He won a gold medal in the SL3 singles at the 2016 Asian Championships in Beijing. In 2018, he received the Arjuna Award and a year later, he was named Para Sportsman of the Year at the Sportstar Aces Awards.
Earlier in the day, Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar also sailed into the men's singles finals of SL4 class and SH6 class respectively.