Bhavinaben Patel continued to script history as she became the first Indian to enter the final of a table tennis event in the Paralympics with a hard-fought 3-2 win over China’s Miao Zhang in a class 4 semifinal on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Patel beat her world no. 3 Chinese opponent 7-11 11-7 11-4 9-11 11-8 in the semifinal showdown that lasted 34 minutes. She will take on world number one Chinese paddler Ying Zhou in the summit clash on Sunday.
Competing in her maiden Paralympics, Patel lost the opening game in a tight contest. But, she made a strong recovery, claiming the next two games. In the fourth game, Zhang showed her class not giving Patel the bragging rights just yet as the match headed into the decider.
In the deciding fifth game, Patel took a time out after which she notched up the win. In the quarterfinal on Friday, Patel had defeated 2016 Rio Paralympics gold winner and world number two Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia to clinch a medal and script history.