India at Paralympics 2021: Bhavina loses to Zhou Ying in final, settles for silver

Paddler Bhavina Patel won silver for India at the Tokyo Paralympics 2021.
Paddler Bhavina Patel won silver for India at the Tokyo Paralympics 2021.

India's Bhavina Patel lost to China's Zhou Ying 0-3 in the Tokyo Paralympics 2021 women's singles class 4 table tennis final on Sunday at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. With it, the two-time Paralympic gold medalist ended Bhavina's four-match winning streak.

Although the 34-year-old lost the match, she scripted history by attaining a podium finish and clinching a silver medal - India's first at the Paralympics. She also became only the second female athlete from India after Deepa Malik to earn a podium finish at the Games.

Checkout: Tokyo Paralympics Medal Table

Bhavina Patel overwhelmed in finals

As the final got underway, 2008 and 2012 Paralympic champion Zhou Ying took the lead initially, though Bhavina Patel kept her opponent honest. The Indian was mounting a comeback as the scoreline read 7-8. However, with three successive points, Ying won the game 11-7 in no time.

The second game was initially tied at 1-1, but Ying was ruthless and soon eked out a 6-1 advantage. Bagging another point, the Chinese continued to build pressure on Bhavina, with the score reading 8-4. With a crushing forehand, the world No. 1 bagged the game 11-5.

Beginning the final game, Ying dialed her aggression up a notch. Her power and agility gave Bhavina Patel no time to think, forcing her into mistakes and leaving her with no answer for the Chinese, who swept the final game 11-6.

Bhavina's road to the finals

It wasn't Bhavina Patel's first taste of defeat at the hands of Zhou Ying. Earlier in the week, she lost her first-round match 0-3 to the two-time Paralympic gold medalist, who overwhelmed the Indian paddler in straight games 3-0 (11-3, 11-9, 11-2) in just 18 minutes on August 24.

Bhavina pulled off a thriller in the semifinals to defeat Zhang Miao 3-2 to enter the final. She stunned the World No. 3 with a 3-2 (11-7, 7-11, 4-11, 11-9, 8-11) triumph.

Here's how Bhavina Patel's road to the finals played out:

Lost to Zhou Ying 0-3 in Group A opening match.

Defeated world No. 9 Megan Shackleton 3-1 in a must-win Group A match.

Defeated world No. 8 Joyce de Oliveira 3-0 in the Round of 16.

Defeated world No. 2 and Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medalist Borislava Peric-Rankovic 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

Defeated world No. 3 and Rio 2016 Paralympics silver medallist Zhang Miao 3-2 in the semifinals.

Also read: 2021 Paralympics: Indian paddler Bhavina Patel stuns reigning world champion Borislava Peric-Ravic to advance in to the semifinals

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee
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