India win 10 medals at the Para-Badminton World Championships
The Indian contingent finished with a rich haul of 10 medals -- two gold, two silver and six bronze -- at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2017 that concluded in Ulsan, Korea on Sunday. Arjuna awardee Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar was the star of the show and claimed both the gold medals from the side.
Parmar has her eyes set on Tokyo gold
Being the World No. 1 in the WS SL 3 category, Parmar received the top seeding at this tournament and did justice to her billing. The Gandhinagar-born shuttler topped her group with three straight-game wins and then got the better of her compatriot, Manasi Girishchandra Joshi, 21-12, 21-7 in the semi-finals.
In Sunday’s summit clash, Parmar had to overcome a late resistance from the second seeded Wannaphatdee Kamtam of Thailand to register a 21-8, 21-17 win in just 23 minutes. She later teamed up with Akiko Sugino of Japan to grab her second gold medal of the day, this time in the WD SL 3- SU 5 category.
Parmar and Sugino needed 33 minutes to pull off a 21-16, 21-19 win over the Chinese duo of Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui.
Parul, who is in her forties now, was diagnosed with polio in her right leg at the age of three. It was her father, a former national level shuttler from Gujarat, who introduced her to badminton. Parmar demonstrated her talent on the court soon after starting to play and has continued to bring laurels for her country.
She bagged the gold medal at the 2014 Para Asian Games and aspires to bring home the gold medal from Tokyo after para-badminton got the green signal to be included in the 2020 Paralympic Games.
Sarkar and Tarun go down in final
In the MS SL 3 section, the second seeded Manoj Sarkar went down fighting 21-15, 19-21, 16-21 to the unseeded Ukun Rukaendi of Indonesia in 1 hour 11 minutes to settle for the silver. In MS SL 4, the top seeded Lucas Mazur beat the 3/4th seeded Tarun Tarun, 21-18, 21-10 in the final.
The MS SL 3 top seed Pramod Bhagat had to be content with a bronze. Manasi Joshi, who lost to Parul Parmar, too bagged a bronze.
The other bronze medals were all claimed by doubles players -- Ruhi Satish Shingade-Raja Magotra in XD SS 6, Raj Kumar-Rakesh Pandey in MD SU 5 and Mark Joseph Dharmai-Raja Magotra in MD SS 6.
In MD SL 3-4, Umesh Vikram Kumar partnered Chawarat Kitichokwattana of Thailand to the bronze medal.
The Para-Badminton World Championships, which started in 1998, is held every two years since 2001. India’s 2017 haul is one less than the unprecedented 11 medals that they won at the last Para-Badminton World Championships held in Great Britain in 2015.