World No.1 para-shuttler from Odisha, Pramod Bhagat will be the second player to represent the State in any edition of the Paralympics, the second biggest sporting spectacle in the world.
Bhagat will test his spirit with hopes high on landing a Gold Medal for India at the Tokyo Paralympic Games which has commenced from today. A total of 54 para-athletes will represent India in nine events of the mega competition and Pramod is eying nothing less than the yellow metal.
Markanda Reddy was the first Odia player to represent the State in a Paralympics. He had participated in the 100 m event of the T46 category way back in the Beijing Paralympic Games 2008.
The top ranked player of the world, Bhagat has qualified for the Paralympics for the first time after badminton was introduced into the competition. Pramod will compete in the singles and mixed doubles events of the SL3 (standing/lower limb impairment/minor category). Both the events will start from September 1 and Punjab’s Palak Kohli will be Pramod’s partner in the mixed event.
After a spectacular show in Tokyo Olympics India is eying a better show in Paralympics, especially from Pramod who has a brilliant record running up to the marquee event.
“Tokyo Paralympics is one of the biggest stages of my career. I have been training hard for the mega competition all my life. I am focused on winning a gold medal in my Paralympics debut,” said Pramod.
“It is not going to be easy as the competition level will be pretty tough. But I am surely going to put my 200 per cent and make India and all those who have supported me throughout my journey proud,” said the para-shuttler.
(Edited by Suryakant Jena)