Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

In what could be the longest final in a Para Badminton Padma, Odisha star Pramod Bhagat defeated England’s Daniel Bethell in SL3 category to retain his gold at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships 2024 in Thailand on Sunday.

With this memorable title win, Pramod shattered many records. He became the first para-athlete to win three consecutive gold at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships. He also equalled the record of winning Lin Dan’s five world Championships. He has won gold medals in 2009, 2015, 2019, 2022 and 2024.

Pramod and Daniel Bethell’s rivalry is well known, and this match proved to be exactly that. The one hour 40-minute-long match was exhaustive, tight and could have gone either side. Pramod started the game with five consecutive points and had a good lead, but Bethell came back strongly to win the first set 21-14. 

The second set started off in the same fashion. However, as the match progressed there were long rallies and both players couldn’t find opening, and their defense was spectacular. Somehow, Pramod forced errors from Bethell’s side to win the second set 21 -15.

With the match poised evenly, the deciding set was crucial. Pramod changed his strategy to confuse Bethell which gave him the edge and secure the 21-14 winning his third world championships in a row. Apart from the gold, Pramod also won Bronze in Men’s Doubles with Sukant Kadam and also another Bronze in Mixed Doubles with Manish Ramdass.

“This win holds a very special place in my heart for various reasons. First being that I have managed to equal my idol Lin Dan’s record of five world championships and second is that I am able to retain three consecutive World Championships,” said Pramod after the match.