Noida DM to play for gold medal at Tokyo Paralympics3 min read . Updated: 04 Sep 2021, 08:59 AM IST
- Suhas Yathiraj from Karnataka, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, will face top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the final on Sunday.
Indian shuttler Suhas Yathiraj today enter the final of the men's singles class SL4 badminton event in Tokyo Paralympics. Suhas, a world number 3 in SL4 bdminton event
Suhas Yathiraj is also the District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.Suhas has an impairment in one of his ankles.
In SL4 class, Suhas outwitted Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan 21-9 21-15 in 31 minutes in the first semifinal.
The Noida District Magistrate will face top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the final on Sunday.
The 38-year-old from Karnataka, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, will face top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the final on Sunday.
Suhas has been an achiever both on the court and off it.
A computer engineer, Suhas went on to become an IAS officer and has been posted as a district magistrate of Noida since 2020, a role that saw him at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
On court, he has won gold medals at 2017 BWF Turkish Para badminton championship in men's singles and men's doubles, besides claiming the yellow metal in 2016 Asia championships. He is also a bronze medallist at 2018 Asian Para Games.
In SL classification, persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete, while SU refers to athletes with upper limb impairment.
Meanwhile, Indian shuttler Pramod Bhagat also stormed into the men's singles final of the badminton event but Manoj Sarkar and Tarun Dhillon suffered contrasting losses in their semifinal match at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday.
The 33-year-old Bhagat, the current world no 1, secured a 21-11 21-16 win over Japan's Daisuke Fujihara in the first SL3 class semifinals that lasted 36 minutes.
The top seeded Indian, current world and Asian champion, will lock horns with Great Britain's Daniel Bethell in the summit clash later in the day.
Bhagat, top seed, lagged 2-4 early in the opening game but a series of overhead drops helped him claw back. The duo was 8-8 before the Indian entered the interval at 11-8.
After the break, he continued his good run and eventually pocketed the opening game with six straight points.
It was a Bhagat show in the second game as well as the Indian led all the way to come up trumps.
Bhagat will pair up with Palak Kohli for their mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semifinals later in the day.
"It was a great game against Fujihara, he pushed me with some great shots. But I had a plan and I executed it very well. I am happy I have reached my maiden Paralympic finals but the work is not done yet," said Bhagat after his match.
Bhagat, who had developed a defect on his left leg after contracting polio at the age of 5, has won a total of 45 international medals, including four world championship golds.
He won two golds and a bronze in men's singles, besides two golds and a silver in men's doubles at the BWF Para world championships in the last eight years.
In the 2019 edition at Basel, Bhagat had won gold medals in both singles and doubles events.
In the 2018 Asian Para Games, he won two medals – a gold and a bronze. He topped it up with two gold medals and one silver medal at the IWAS World games in 2019.
He clinched two gold medals at the BWF Para World Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland in 2019.
This year, Bhagat had claimed two gold medals at the Dubai Para Badminton tournament in April when the sport returned after a year-long break due to the pandemic.
*With inputs from agencies
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