World No.1 and top seed para shuttler of Odisha Pramod Bhagat lived up to his billing to storm into the semi-finals in the men’s SL3 category of Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday.
India’s ace para shuttler got the better of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov in straight games of 21-12, 21-9 in an emphatic manner to seal his place in the last four.
Pramod just needs one more victory to ensure a medal at the Games.
Pramod dominated the first game by winning five consecutive points and maintaining the widest margin of nine point lead. Chyrkov barely had any response to Pramod’s sharp returns to the edges.
The Indian continued to show his dominance in the second game as he was up by 11-2 at the interval. In just 10 minutes of the game, Pramod was up by a 10 points lead of 16-6. The points kept on piling up as Pramod registered a comfortable 12 point lead at 19-7. Chyrkov earned one point, but the game was pretty well under Pramod’s control, who won it 21-9. The entire match lasted for 26 minutes.
Earlier a day before, Pramod had beaten compatriot Manoj Sarkar in the first group stage match. Bhagat had notched up a fighting 21-10, 21-23, 21-9 victory over the third seed in the match which lasted for 56 minutes.
(Edited by Rashmi Ranjan Mohanty)