Suhas Yathiraj wins silver medal in men's singles badminton SL4 event
Suhas Yathiraj, an Indian para-shuttler, lost to Lucas Mazur of France in the final of the men's singles badminton SL4 event at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020 on Sunday. Mazur defeated Yathiraj 21-15, 17-21, 15-21. India's medal total in the Paralympic Games has now reached 18 medals.
Suhas had a fantastic first game, completely dominating his French opponent. He maintained his momentum in the next game, which featured a head-to-head battle between the two players. Mazur, on the other hand, gained the upper hand near the conclusion of the second game, winning 21-17 and forcing a deciding.
The Indian shuttler re-started the game and led 4-0 at one point. Mazur appeared fatigued for a while, but then he returned from behind and put on a flawless performance to win the gold.
Suhas had lost in the qualifying group A match to Mazur, who has already won three gold medals at European Championships, but India put in a valiant effort in the final to challenge his world No. 1 foe.
As a result, Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) district magistrate became the first IAS officer to win a medal at the Paralympics.
Suhas commented after earning India's third badminton medal, "I'm fairly delighted with the performance, but I should have finished it off in the second game."
"So I'm a little unhappy that I didn't finish the second game since I had a comfortable lead. But, again, congrats to Lucas. The winner is the one that performed the best."
Suhas had defeated Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan in the first semifinal 21-9, 21-15 in 31 minutes earlier on Saturday.
Suhas, the current world No. 3 in the SL4 category, had played three bouts in the present Games, including the semifinals on Saturday. Against his opponents, he has been at his most dominant.
Suhas began his career as a computer engineer before becoming an IAS officer and serving as the district magistrate of Noida since 2020, a position that put him at the forefront of the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the court, he earned gold medals in men's singles and men's doubles at the 2017 BWF Turkish Para badminton championships, as well as the yellow metal in the 2016 Asia championships. He also won a bronze medal in the Asian Para Games in 2018.
Meanwhile, India's Tarun Dhillon lost the bronze medal match in men's singles badminton SL4 to Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan 17-21, 11-21. Dhillon had a slim advantage in the first game, but his Indonesian opponent rallied late and swept the second game to claim the bronze medal.
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