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A Para table tennis player, Bhavina Patel became the second Indian female athlete to win a medal in Paralympics after Deepa Malik, who bagged silver in shot put F43 in 2016.
The 34-year-old woman is a staunch believer of the fact that 'strength lies in the mind and not body'. Bhavina did her best in the summit clash and went down in straight sets to world No.1 Zhou Ying of China in the final, ending her singles campaign with a deserved silver medal. Zhou won 7-11, 5-11, 6-11. Zhou had also won gold in 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Paralympics.
After winning silver, Bhavina told TOI, "I gave 100% in the final. Though I could not win the gold, I am satisfied with my overall performance. That I have created history by winning a medal in table tennis at the Paralympics is in itself a huge achievement." On being asked about her opponent Zhou Ying, she said, "She had strong wheelchair movements, better ball control and was hitting the ball very well. Playing her was a good experience. I will prepare for future matches keeping this in mind."
PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to share this incredible news and wrote, '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.''
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
Some Interesting facts about Bhavina Patel
- Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel was born on 6 November 1986 in Vadnagar, which is in Mehsana district, Gujarat. She is 34 years old now. Bhavina moved to Ahmedabad in 2004, from her native village.
- Financial crisis was always part of Bhavina's challenging journey. While she was facing numerous hurdles, Blind People's Association (BPA) in Ahmedabad extended their support to her.
- Bhavina also got a job opportunity with the Employees' State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) in the sports quota.
- Bhavina has represented India in 28 international tournaments and currently she ranks 8th in the world.
- Till date she has won 5 gold, 13 silver and 8 bronze medals.
- In 2011, she won Silver Medal for India in the Individual Category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship.
- After 2 years, in October 2013, she had won the silver medal in the women's singles Class 4 at the Asian Para table tennis championships in Beijing.
- In 2017, she won the Bronze Medal in the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Asian Para Table Tennis Championship in 2017 in Beijing, China.
- She is also a recipient of the Sardar Patel Award and Eklavya Award.