Tokyo Paralympics: Suhas Yathiraj & Tarun Dhillon win their opening group matches in the Men’s Singles SL4 class Badminton Event

Indian para-badminton players Suhas Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon made great starts to their campaign in the men’s singles SL4 class event today at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Indian top-ranked para-badminton players Suhas Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon started with great performances in the men’s singles SL4 class event today at the Tokyo Paralympics.

The 38-year-old Suhas Yathiraj defeated his opponent German para-athlete Jan Niklas Pott within 19 minutes in a dominant fashion as the final score of that match was 21-9 21-3 in the Indian’s opening group A match. 27-year-old Tarun, also, was comfortable throughout his match and beat his opponent Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom 21-7 21-13 in his opening group B game which lasted for just 23 minutes.

Suhas will face Indonesian player Harry Susanto in his next match while Tarun will have his next game against Korean para-athlete Shin Kyung Hwan on Friday. Suhas has been at the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic with him being the district magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar despite having an impairment in one of his ankles. Meanwhile, Tarun suffered a severe injury in his knees when he was playing football at the age of eight which has ended up in a restriction of movement in the knee. He is the current world no.2 in the rankings and the Para-Badminton world champion. The SL class allows para-athletes with severe limb impairment/standing/ severe impairment in their legs and limbs.

However, there was disappointment in store yet again for Palak Kohli. The 19-year-old lost her mixed doubles with Pramod Bhagat yesterday against the French duo of Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel 9-21 21-15 19-21 in their group B opening match. She lost again with her doubles partner Parul Parmar to the second-seeded Chinese duo Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui 7-21 5-21 in their Group B doubles SL3-SU5 event. Kohli, also, lost her SU5 (standing/upper limb impairment) singles match against Japan’s Ayako Suzuki 4-21 7-21.

Pramod Bhagat, meanwhile, won his match against compatriot and fellow Indian Manoj Sarkar 21-10 21-23 21-9 in their men’s singles SL3 (standing/lower limb impairment/minor) group opener.

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