‘Nothing is impossible’, says Bhavina after winning TT silver medal
New Delhi, August 30, 2021
"Nothing is Impossible," proved paddler Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel who won India's first-ever Paralympic medal – a silver -- in table tennis.
This was also India’s first medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Bhavina, who pulled off big upsets since her opening game, went down to China’s Zhou Ying 3-0 (11-7, 11-5, 11-6) to bring home the silver in women’s singles Class 4 Finals and made the country’s National Sports Day a day to remember for parasports for a long time.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: "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."
On Saturday, Bhavina stormed into the finals with a stunning 3-2 win over Zhang Miao of China, London 2012 Paralympic champion in the TT4-5 Team event, after she got past Serbia's world No. 2 Borislava Rankovic 3-0 in the quarter-finals.
It was surely a special moment for Patel, who hails from a village Sundhiya in Vadnagar taluka in the Mehsana district of Gujarat. And it was her sheer "hard work" and "will" which helped her rise to the occasion.
“I’m very happy to win the silver medal. This is a dream come true. But I am a little disappointed as well. I got a bit nervous,” said Patel, who had missed out on the ticket to Rio in 2016.
“Accessibility is a major issue in our country and so are jobs and other opportunities. I would be very glad if my medal can become the voice for the people with disabilities and they get their due with opportunities and accessibility. I also believe that this silver medal will set an example for the people with disabilities that ‘nothing is impossible'."
“My advice to all the women will be ‘believe in yourself and just go for it’," Bhavana said.
Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik said, "It’s absolutely stunning to see Bhavina’s performance at Tokyo. Her game, skills, patience, and focus have been world-class. Our silver girl has gifted the nation with a silver on National Sports Day.
“On a personal level, it felt like passing on the baton. I always wanted women's participation to come forward and moreover women on wheelchairs to make more medals so that we can create more inclusivity and break the stereotypes and taboos around disability. And Bhavina has just done that. She will be a huge role model for women empowerment and gender equality in the country,” Malik added.