Tokyo Paralympics: Bhagat-Kohli pair enters semifinals; Suhas, Tarun, Manoj too qualify

Bhagat, who had qualified for the men's singles SL3 event on Thursday, and Kohli beat Thailand's Siripong teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-15 21-19 in a 29-minute clash to finish second in group B.

India’s Pramod Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli qualified for the mixed doubles semifinals, while three singles players, including Noida District Magistrate Suhas Yathiraj, also made the last-four stage to continue a rampaging run at the Paralympics badminton competition on Friday.

Bhagat, who had qualified for the men’s singles SL3 event on Thursday, and Kohli beat Thailand’s Siripong teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-15 21-19 in a 29-minute clash to finish second in group B.

In men’s singles, Suhas, Tarun Dhillon and Manoj Sarkar also made it to the semifinals on a fruitful day for India.

In SL4 class, Suhas, a world number 3, took 19 minutes to get rid of Indonesia’s Hary Susanto 21-6 21-12 in group A, while Tarun, seeded second, recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Korea’s Shin Kyung Hwan 21-18 15-21 21-17 in a group B match.

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Suhas will face France’s top seed Lucas Mazur, while Tarun will cross swords with Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan later in the day.

In SL classification, persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete, while SU refers to athletes with upper limb impairment.

With two wins out of three matches so far in their respective groups, both Suhas and Tarun have qualified for semifinals and might face-off in the knockout stage.

Suhas has an impairment in one of his ankles, while Tarun has restricted knee movement following a severe injury that he suffered at the age of eight.

In SL3 class, Manoj secured a 21-16 21-9 victory over Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov to make it to the knockout stage after finishing at the second spot in group A behind world no.1 Bhagat.

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The 31-year-old, who had contracted polio at one, suffered a loss to Bhagat in his opening match.

Earlier, Palak, 19, and Parul Parmar, 48, suffered their second successive loss in women’s doubles SL3-SU5 group A, going down 12-21 20-22 to French pair of Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel.

While Suhas hardly broke any sweat during his contest, Tarun had to toil hard to edge out Hwan, who recovered from an opening game reversal to grab the second game.

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