The Indian para-badminton contingent, crammed with confidence after a successful year so far, extended their medal winning streak at the ongoing Bahrain Para Badminton International in Manama on Saturday (May 21).
The Indian Para shuttlers clinched 23 medals, including seven golds, three silvers, and 13 bronze medals at the tournament.
Among prominent names, the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics gold medallist Pramod Bhagat claimed two gold medals, one each in the men's singles and mixed doubles categories.
The 33-year-old was given a walkover by Great Britain's Daniel Bethell in the SL3 finals, leading him to clinch the top prize. Pramod had defeated Bethell 21-14, 21-17 in the Paralympics final last year.
Meanwhile, in the mixed doubles event, Pramod along with Manisha Ramdass, overwhelmed Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom and Saensupa Nipada 21-14, 21-11 in the SL3-SU5 summit clash to finish atop the podium.
Pramod Bhagat's hard work pays off
Pramod Bhagat and Sukant Kadam have been training at the Videna National High-Performance Centrer in Lima, Peru. Both have been training under the Peru National Para-Badminton team, aiming to inculcate new styles and understand different techniques.
After consecutive bronze medal-winning performances in previous tournaments, Pramod expressed disappointment.
"I have had a very roller coaster start to 2022 and I want to focus and utilize the time between tournaments in improving my technique and skills. The Peru team is a strong upcoming team and it will be of great help to exchange new ideas and understand their thought process which will help me prepare better for the upcoming tournaments."
However, with two gold medals at the Bahrain Para Badminton International, it appears that his hard work and grind has finally paid off.
Other Indian shuttlers at Bahrain Para Badminton International
Tarun Dhillon also won a gold medal after thrashing Korea's Shin Kyung Hwan in straight sets 21-9, 21-9 in the men's singles SL4 final.
In the women's singles, Mandeep Kaur (SL3) lost 5-21, 17-21 to Halime Yildiz to settle for a silver medal. She pulled off a 21-18, 21-14 win to stun the top-seeded compatriot Manasi Joshi in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Paralympic gold medallist Krishna Nagar unfortunately had to withdraw from his men's singles semi-final SH6 match against Hong Kong's Chu Man Kai.