Manama: Top para shuttlers Pramod Bhagat and Tarun Dhillon clinched two gold medals each as the Indian team ended with a rich haul of 23 medals including seven gold medals at the 1st Bahrain Para-Badminton International Championships 2022. Promising doubles shuttler Manisha Ramdass also shot into the limelight with her twin gold medal show, while Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan (WS SH6) and Dhinagaran Pandurangan and Sivarajan Solaimalai (Doubles SH6) claimed the other top honours for India.

Pairing up with a new partner, Bhagat turned the colour of his mixed doubles SL3-SU5 silver medal from Brazil into gold this time. He and promising Manisha Ramdass got the better of Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-14, 21-11 to take the gold. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Bhagat then went on to take the men’s singles SL3 gold after England’s Daniel Bethell gave a walkover.

In the men’s SL4 events, Dhillon, who missed out on a medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, first paired with Nitesh Kumar to pull off a convincing 21-13, 21-7 win over Thailand’s Mongkhon Bunsun and Siripong Teamarrom in men’s doubles SL3-Sl4 summit clash. High in confidence, Dhillon took just 20 minutes to thump South Korea’s Shin Kyung Hwan 21-9, 21-9 for the men’s singles SL4 gold.

Manisha, Nithya shine in women’s events In women’s events, Asian Youth Para Games champion Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan continued her good run of form to defeat England’s Rachel Choong 21-15, 21-15. Meanwhile, Mandeep Kaur, who pulled off an upset win in her semi-finals, had to settle for the second place after going down to Turkey’s Halime Yildiz 21-5, 21-17 in the women’s SL3 finals, the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) informed in a release on Sunday. She later came out with a strong show combining with Manisha Ramdass for the gold in the women’s doubles SL3-SU5 finals. They took just 23 minutes to defeat the Paralympian pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar 21-11, 21-11. In doubles SH6, Dhinagaran Pandurangan and Sivarajan Solaimalai took the gold after Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai and Wong Chun Yim retired with one game all 21-12,10-21.

Chief national coach Gaurav Khanna was a proud coach at the end of the day with consistent results from his wards. “Our para shuttlers have yet again come out with great results. I am very happy with the way the players are delivering excellent results in back-to-back events. Though there’s still some work needed to be done and one of the main focuses will be on their fitness.

“There are quite a few names who are doing really well in the recent tournaments. We have high hopes from promising names like Manisha Ramdass etc.”

The Indian team will be next in action at the 4th Fazza Dubai 2022 Para-Badminton International that gets underway on Tuesday.—IANS



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