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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

World No.1 Para Shuttler from Odisha Pramod Bhagat notched up a fighting 21-10, 21-23, 21-9 victory over compatriot Manoj Sarkar in the Men's SL3 Singles category on Wednesday to inch closer to the semifinals in Tokyo Paralympics.

The encounter lasted for 56 minutes. Pramod started the match in a very dominating fashion, pocketing the first game 21-10 in just 14 minutes. The top seed in SL3 looked in sublime touch and it felt as if he would run away with the match quickly. However, Manoj struck back.

The World No.3 was at his absolute best and made Pramod work hard for every single point in the second game. Sarkar, out of nowhere, seemed to be at the top of his abilities to wrap up a closely fought game 23-21.

However, Manoj ran out of steam in the final game and surrendered it tamely at 9-21.

With this victory, Pramod inched one step closer to semifinals. He will meet Chyrkov Oleksandr of Ukraine in another match tomorrow.

Earlier, Pramod had an unfortunate start to mixed doubles event as he and his partner Palak Kohli from Punjab went down fighting Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel of France. The Indian duo lost 9-21, 21-15, 19-21 to Mazur and Noel. 

(Edited by Pradeep Singh)

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