Indian para-shuttler Suhas Yathiraj, also an IAS officer, said he has mixed feelings after scripting history at the Tokyo Paralympics. Suhas Yathiraj put on a spirited display in the final of the badminton singles SL4 event but eventually went down in a pulsating encounter against two-time world champion Lucas Mazur to win a silver medal.
After the match, Suhas Yathiraj said he has never felt happy and disappointed at the same time in his life, so far. The IAS officer who is the Noida District Magistrate lost 21-15, 17-21 15-21 to Lucas Mazur.
Speaking to the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) after the match, Suhas Yathiraj said it was an emotional moment to win a silver medal but was distraught at missing the gold medal. He added:
'It's a very emotional moment. I have never been so happy and so disappointed in my life at the same time. I am very happy because of the silver medal but most disappointed because I missed the gold medal by a whisker. But destiny gives me what I deserve and I probably deserve a silver medal so I am happy for that at least."
Suhas Yathiraj dreamt of winning the gold medal
Just like every other athlete, Suhas Yathiraj too dreamt of winning the gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. However, the Noida District Magistrate lost the match after taking the first set to lose the next two and the gold medal slipped out of his hands.
"Yes, that is what you pray for, that is what you train for, that is what you hope and dream for," said the world no 3 in the SL4 class singles. "As I said, I have never been so disappointed and most happy in my life, coming so close and yet so far but still winning a Paralympic medal is not a small feat and I am extremely proud of what I have done in the last few days."
However, Suhas Yathiraj does not undermine neither the value of the medal nor his efforts. He explained:
"For every sportsperson, there is no higher achievement than the Olympics or Paralympics, so this means the world to me.”
Before his exploits on the badminton court, Suhas Yathiraj was at the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic as Noida's District Magistrate.
Also read: "Well fought, Sir": Twitter congratulates Suhas Yathiraj on becoming the first IAS officer to win a silver medal at the Paralympics