New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Reigning world champion Pramod Bhagat on Saturday claimed a historic gold medal in men's singles SL3 class while Manoj Sarkar bagged the bronze as India stamped their prowess at the Tokyo Paralympics in Tokyo. Bhagat beat Great Britain's Daniel Bethell in the summit clash while Sarkar defeated Japan's Daisuke Fujihara in the third-place play-off, with both the Indians winning in straight games.

In the SL3 classification, athletes with lower limb impairment are allowed to compete. With badminton making its debut at the Paralympics this year, Bhagat, the current world No. 1, thus became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the sport. With the two medals, India's medal tally at the Paralympics reached 17. 

Bhagat, the 33-year-old from Bhubaneswar who contracted polio at age four, defeated the Briton 21-14, 21-17, coming back from 4-9 deficit in the second game to claim his first gold medal as badminton made its Paralympic Games debut at Tokyo.

PV Sindhu's silver medal in the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro was the previous best for India in the Olympics and Paralympics. Sindhu has also won a bronze medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics last month.

Bhagat, the top-ranked player in the world, is the reigning World Champion in SL3 class having won the title by beating Bathell in the final in Basel, Switzerland in 2019. On Saturday, he had reached the final by beating Japan's Fujihara Daisuke in straight games.

Congratulating Bhagat for securing a Gold medal, PM Modi said that he has won the hearts of the entire nation and his success will inspire millions. 

Meanwhile, Sarkar defeated Fujihara 22-20, 21-13 in the bronze medal match. The entire match lasted for 47 minutes. The first game went back and forth, but it was Sarkar who managed to hold his own, winning it 22-20.

PM Modi also congratulated Manoj Sarkar for his medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. "Overjoyed by @manojsarkar07’s wonderful performance. Congrats to him for bringing home the prestigious Bronze Medal in badminton. Wishing in the very best for the times ahead", he wrote. 

The Indian shuttler carried forward his momentum and ended up winning the match in straight games. Earlier on Saturday, Manoj Sarkar had lost the men's singles SL3 semi-final match in straight sets in the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics. Daniel Bethell of Great Britain defeated Manoj 21-8, 21-10 in the semi-final clash to seal the match in 38 minutes.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan