Wasn't able to 'implement' my game plan, says Bhavinaben Patel after silver in Tokyo Paralympics

Published on Aug 29, 2021 11:09 AM IST

India's para table tennis player Bhavina won silver as she lost the gold medal match to China's Zhou Ying 3-0 in the women's singles - Class 4 in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday.

Bhavinaben Patel.(SAI)
Bhavinaben Patel.(SAI)

After scripting history in Tokyo Paralympics, paddler Bhavina Patel said she is disappointed on not giving her hundred per cent in the gold medal match.

India's para table tennis player Bhavina won silver as she lost the gold medal match to China's Zhou Ying 3-0 in the women's singles - Class 4 in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday. With this silver medal, Bhavina is the first table tennis player ever to win a medal at the Paralympics for India and the second female athlete after PCI chief Deepa Malik to achieve this feat. Malik had won silver at Rio 2016 in women's shot put.

"I am very happy on one side and on one side I was very nervous, so that's why I wasn't able to give my hundred per cent in the match. I am not satisfied and a little bit disappointed. But I will fulfil all the shortcomings in the next tournament," Bhavina told ANI after the match.

World number one Zhou Ying overwhelmed Bhavina Patel in straight sets by 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-6) in just 19 minutes. Talking about her mental composure and resilience during the match against the Chinese, Bhavina said: "I am able to control my mind very well. It's not a big thing for me. But this was my first experience. The Chinese player played very well. She had a very fast moment and have a huge experience so that's why I was nervous."

"I tried to give my hundred per cent but I wasn't able to give and that's why I am disappointed. If I gave more effort, definitely I would have done it [win gold]."

Notably, Patel also lost to Zhou in her first group stage match on Wednesday, as she was the only opponent the Indian could not beat in the whole tournament. She defeated the world No 9, 8, 2 and 3 in the run-up to the final. "I was confident that I would win a medal against her and will definitely win gold. But I felt a little bit of pressure as I wasn't able to control my thoughts. The way I wanted to play was not exactly implemented by me."

Further talking about her final she said: "I tried to give her [Zhou] side balls but she was able to hit it. So I thought I shouldn't give her those negative points and decided not to continue with that."

Talking about becoming the first Indian to win a table tennis medal at the Games, she said: "I am very happy that the Indian has created history in para table tennis. Many people and organisations have supported me in this journey. Special thanks to my coach sir because he has supported me throughout and made me do the very hard practice."

Bhavina also thanked her family and god for the silver medal. "I also want to dedicate my medal to the supporters, India, PCI, SAI, TOPS, Blind People Association. Without their support am nothing."

Coming back to the para table tennis match, Zhou Ying has now become one of the most decorated para-paddlers in China. The 32-year-old is now 6 time Paralympic gold medalist.

She won two medals in each of the singles and team events during the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic campaigns and now one in Tokyo 2020. Although she missed out on the podium in singles at the 2016 Rio games, she managed to get to glory in the team event.

The Chinese paddler is also a 6-time World Championship medalist. Her medals include 1 silver and 5 gold medals. She is one of the best paddlers in Asia, having won 14 Asian Championship medals and 5 Asian Games gold medals.

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