TOKYO: Pramod Bhagat and Nitesh Kumar will fight for gold in the men’s singles SL3 as Indian shuttlers made it to three finals at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships on Saturday.
Other finalists include Manisha Ramadass in women’s singles SU5 and Manoj Sarkar, whom Bhagat will be pairing up for the men’s doubles SL3-SL4 final.
Bhagat defeated Japan’s Daisuke Fujiara but only after he was stretched to the limit in the first game by the local star 22-20, 21-14.
In the other semifinal, Nitesh got the better of former bronze medallist Sarkar 21-10, 21-13 to reach his first Worlds final in singles event.
“It was a good match. I was confident of pulling off the match right from the start. But I was also aware of Manoj Bhaiya’s ability; he could make a comeback from any point. It feels good to enter my first singles final in a World Championships,” said Nitesh.
“We play quite often and know each other’s games. So tomorrow, the plan will be not to make any mistakes,” he added.
Meanwhile, it is turning out to be a dream debut for promising Ramadass who entered the final of women’s singles SU5 final.
The 17-year-old overcame a second game scare from Denmark’s Cathrine Rosengren to win 21-19, 17-21, 21-17.
Otherwise, India encountered several upsets on the day, with defending champions Manasi Joshi and second seed Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan crashing out.
After losing his men’s singles SH6 and men’s doubles SH6 quarter-finals, Paralympic champion Krishna Nagar faltered in the mixed doubles SH6 semifinal along with Nithya Sre Sumathy Sivan, losing to Peru’s Nilton Quispe Ignacio and Giuliana Poveda Flores 21-16, 21-18.
In men’s singles SL4, Sukant Kadam also exited with a 22-20, 21-15 loss to Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan.
In women’s semifinal SH6, Sivan fought hard but lost against Rina Marlina 21-19, 12-21, 21-19, while Joshi faltered against Ukrainian Oksana Kozyna in straight games 18-21, 18-21 in yet another upset.
On the other hand, Turkey’s Halime Yildiz made light work of seasoned star Parul Parmar 21-11, 21-6 while the men’s doubles SU5 pairs of Rajkumar and Chirag Baretha and Hardik Makkar and Ruthick Ragupathi lost their matches too.


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By Dipak

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