Updated: August 29, 2021 11:20:43 am
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in congratulating paddler Bhavinaben Patel for winning a historic silver medal, India’s first, in the ongoing Paralympic Games in Tokyo on Sunday.
Patel on Sunday became only the second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics after she signed off with a historic silver following a 0-3 loss to world number one Chinese paddler Ying Zhou in the women’s singles table tennis class 4 final.
“Bhavina Patel inspires the Indian contingent and sportslovers winning silver at #Paralympics. Your extraordinary determination and skills have brought glory to India. My congratulations to you on this exceptional achievement,” President Kovind tweeted.
Bhavina Patel inspires the Indian contingent and sportslovers winning silver at #Paralympics. Your extraordinary determination and skills have brought glory to India. My congratulations to you on this exceptional achievement.
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 29, 2021
The 34-year-old Patel’s impressive run at the Games ended with a fighting 7-11 5-11 6-11 loss to Zhou, a two-time gold medallist, in the women’s singles summit clash which lasted 19 minutes.
With this medal, Indian team opened its account at the Games.
Prime Minister Modi said Patel’s feat is a motivation for youngsters.
“The remarkable Bhavina Patel has scripted history! She brings home a historic Silver medal. Congratulations to her for it. Her life journey is motivating and will also draw more youngsters towards sports. #Paralympics,” he tweeted.
Modi also spoke to Patel and congratulated her on the remarkable feat. He also wished her the very best for her future endeavours.
The remarkable Bhavina Patel has scripted history! She brings home a historic Silver medal. Congratulations to her for it. Her life journey is motivating and will also draw more youngsters towards sports. #Paralympics
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 29, 2021
Silver Medalist, @Bhavina59068010 receives a congratulatory call from Honourable PM Shri @narendramodi after winning a historic medal in #ParaTableTennis at #Tokyo2020 #Paralympics #Cheer4India #Praise4Para pic.twitter.com/3tGK3MTSEX
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) August 29, 2021
Patel hails from Sundhiya village in Vadnagar, Mehsana in Gujarat and Modi told her that he’s been to Sundhiya often and enquired if her family is still there.
Bhavina told him that her Parents are still there.
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took to the social networking site to wish Patel on her success.
“Congratulations #BhavinaPatel on winning the Silver medal in #ParaTableTennis. Your perseverance and success shall shall as motivation for many,” Sitharaman wrote on her handle.
Rahul Gandhi added: “Congratulations to Bhavina Patel for winning the #Silver . India applauds your achievement. You’ve done the nation proud.”
— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) August 29, 2021
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 29, 2021
India’s first individual gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra also saluted Patel’s “mental resilence”.
“Fantastic performance by @BhavinaPatel6 to bag a silver and open India’s account in the #Tokyo2020 @Paralympics. Wonderful show of skill and mental resilience. Extremely proud! #Praise4Para,” he tweeted alongwith a letter.
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 29, 2021
Deepa Malik, who is the current president of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), was the first Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympic Games when she had claimed a silver in shotput at Rio five years back.
Congratulating Patel for her medal, Malik said: “It is absolutely stunning to see Bhavina’s performance, the way she has played the competition it has absolutely stunned the opponents.
“Her game, skill, patience, her coming back, the way she has kept her focus, it is beyond words, it is world class.
“This is the skill and calmness that has made her achieve the feat of silver at Paralympics and our silver girl has given this gift to the nation on national sports day, which is the most apt day to create history for any sports person.”
Malik said Patel has shattered the taboos around disability.
“On a personal level, I feel it is a passing on the baton. I always wanted women participation to come forward..so that we can create inclusively, shatter this stereotype and taboo around disability and Bhavina has just done that.”
Our Silver Smiles And here’s the SILVER… Passing on the baton to a woman athlete on a wheelchair #BhavinaPatel !! Exceptionally proud moment! India wins its first medal at #Tokyo2020 #Paralympics , proudly presenting our #silvergirl pic.twitter.com/iAbNQIQyXJ
— Deepa Malik (@DeepaAthlete) August 29, 2021
Congratulations #BhavinaPatel so amazing to win a medal at @Tokyo2020 on #NationalSportsDay . Perfect day to bring home the metal… A gift for entire nation . #praise4para @PTI_News @ianuragthakur @KirenRijiju @NisithPramanik @IndiaSports @Media_SAI pic.twitter.com/2iMoO6Egow
— Deepa Malik (@DeepaAthlete) August 29, 2021
Former cricketers Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble also congratulated the wheelerchair paddler for her historic medal.
“Congratulations to #BhavinaPatel for creating history by winning India’s first silver medal in women’s singles class 4 table tennis event at the ongoing #TokyoParalympics. A wonderful display of focus , hardwork and mental strength,” Sehwag wrote.
Laxman tweeted: “Silver medal for India. Many Congratulations to #BhavinaPatel who has created history by becoming the first Indian para-paddler to win a medal in #Paralympics history.”
Kumble added: “Congratulations #BhavinaPatel Proud of you.”
I don’t consider myself as disabled: Bhavinaben Patel
Assured of at least a Paralympic silver medal after reaching the table tennis finals here, India’s Bhavinaben Patel on Saturday said she doesn’t consider herself as disabled and her performance at the Tokyo Games proves that “nothing is impossible”.
“…I don’t consider myself as disabled, I am always confident I can do anything and today I also proved that we are not behind and para table tennis is as ahead as other sports,” said Patel, who was diagnosed with polio when she was 12 months old.
“I fought against China and it is always said that it is difficult to win against China. Today I proved that nothing is impossible, you can do everything…”
This was Patel’s first victory against the former world number one Zhang. The two players had met 11 times before.
Patel, who plays in a wheelchair, will take on world number one Chinese paddler Ying Zhou in the summit clash on Sunday.
She said focussing on mental aspect of the game helped her during the match.
“My schedule used to start at 4am and I used to focus more on my mind, through meditation and yoga I learnt to keep myself calm. During matches, sometimes we make mistakes in a hurry and we lose points but I could control my thoughts today,” she said.
“I want to thank the coaches, who taught me tricks and technique because of them I have been able to reach here.”
Patel also acknowledged the support that she received from different quarters.
“When a player doesn’t get financial support, it becomes difficult to move ahead in sport because the expenses of playing tournaments are so huge and it is difficult to afford for a middle class family but SAI, TOPS, PCI, government, OGQ, Blind People’s Association, my family, all have supported me.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.