Paralympic gold medallist Pramod Bhagat was made to toil hard by fellow junior Nehal Gupta before emerging winner in three games to enter the semifinals of the fourth Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International 2022 on Saturday. (More Sports News)
Bhagat, who won two gold medals at the recent Bahrain Para Badminton International 2022, came back from a game down to beat Gupta 18-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the men's singles SL3 event.
“I took time to get my rhythm in the match. By that time, Nehal started playing well. He is improving fast and is highly skilled. He has a bright future,” said Bhagat, who will next face Japan's Daisuke Fujihara, the Paralympic bronze medallist, in mixed doubles.
By definition, the SL3 category is for players with movement moderately affected one side of the body, both legs, or the absence of limbs. In men’s singles SL4 category, Tarun Dhillon also advanced to the semifinals with a 21-15, 20-22, 21-14 win over Korea's Cho Nadan.
SL4 is for players with movement affected at a low level on one side of the body, in both legs, or the minor absence of one limb. The Haryana-based shuttler also entered the men's doubles SL3-SL4 semifinals partnering Nitesh Kumar.
The women's SL3 semifinal line up has three Indians with reigning world champion Manasi Joshi set to face Australia's Celine Aurelie Vinot while Mandeep Kaur will meet experienced Parul Parmar in the other last-four match.
Joshi is also through to the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 semifinal partnering Ruthick Ragupathi after they pulled off a come-from-behind win over the new pairing of Bhagat and Manisha Ramadass 21-12 16-21 19-21.
SU5 is for players with movement affected at a low level in one arm, a high degree in the non-playing arm the absence of one limb, or the minor loss of one limb. Meanwhile, Parmar and Palak Kohli have also advanced to the women's doubles SL3-SU5 semifinals.
Ramadass also progressed to women's singles SU5 event, defeating Italy's Rosa Efomo De Marco in straight games 21-17 21-11. She will play Cathrine Rosengren of Denmark in the semifinals.