Krishna secures gold, Suhas clinches silver in badminton

Tokyo, Sep 05 (PTI): Krishna Nagar secured a second gold medal in badminton after Suhas Yathiraj claimed a silver as it turned out to be a Super Sunday for the Indian badminton contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics here.
The 22-year-old Nagar, seeded second, defeated Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai 21-17 16-21 21-17 in the men’s singles SH6 class final to retain his unbeaten run at the Games and join compatriot Pramod Bhagat in the gold medal winning list. Bhagat had claimed India’s first gold in badminton in SL3 class on Saturday. “This is a dream come true. I want to thank my father, mother, uncle, auntie, God, my coaches,” said Nagar after winning India’s fifth gold at the Games. “This is the first time that badminton has been added to the Paralympics and I hope that India will keep winning and doing their best at upcoming Games.”
Suhas ended his campaign with a silver after going down fighting against top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the men’s singles SL4 class final. The 38-year-old Noida district magistrate, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, produced an entertaining performance before narrowly going down 21-15 17-21 15-21 to two-time world champion Mazur in the summit clash.
Bhagat and Palak Kohli, however, lost 21-23 19-21 in mixed doubles Sl3-SU5 class bronze medal playoff.
Nagar, who has a short stature impairment, picked up the sport after being encouraged by his cousin. However, he started playing the sport seriously only four years back and ended up winning a bronze at Para Asian Games before claiming a bronze and silver at 2019 World Championships in singles and doubles respectively.
The world No. 2 also won a silver in Brazil and two gold medals in singles and doubles in Peru last year. He also claimed two gold medals at the Dubai Para Badminton International in April this year.
Nagar, who last played Chu Man Kai in the Thailand para badminton two years ago, came into the match with a 2-1 head-to-head advantage.
It turned out to be a pulsating contest as the duo fought tooth and nail but the Indian showed better nerves to come up trumps in the end.
The duo played short rallies initially and Nagar managed to lead 4-2 and 8-6 before Chu Man clawed back and led 11-9 at the break after the Indian hit wide.
Chu Man continued in the same vein and soon opened up a 16-11 lead. But Nagar tightened his net play and covered the court well to draw parity at 16-16 before winning another rally with a backhand return.
Another backhand flick gave him three game points and he sealed it when his rival went to net.
Chu Man recovered to lead 11-7 in the second game after an initial close battle. The Thai player stayed ahead and eventually unleashed a smash to take the match to the decider.

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