Bhavina Patel, First Indian Table Tennis Player to make History in Tokyo Paralympic Games

Bhavina Patel, India’s newest table tennis star, lost the first game 7-11 but won the second by the same margin, then won the third game 11-4, then lost the fourth game 9-11 before storming back to win the fifth and final game 11-8 against Zhang Miao of China in the Women’s Singles Class 4 semifinal on Saturday.

Bhavina, the first Indian to reach the table tennis semifinals at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, will face Zhang, the silver medalist from the Rio Paralympic Games. Bhavani, a 34-year-old first-time Paralympian from Ahmedabad who started up table tennis to stay healthy during her college days, will compete against Zhang Miao, a silver medalist from Rio 2016.

If she wins that match, she would face the winner of the second semifinal between Zhou Ying and Gu Xiaodan, which is an all-Chinese affair. Bhavina will receive a bronze medal if she loses the semifinal, since both losing semifinalists will receive bronze medals this year.