Pramod Bhagat wins gold at Para-Badminton World Championships; equals Lin Dan's record for 5 titles

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS): In what could be the longest final in Para-Badminton, Tokyo Paralympic Games gold medallist Pramod Bhagat defeated England’s Daniel Bethell in the SL3 category to retain his gold at the NSDF Royal Beach Cliff BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2024 in Thailand.

This win breaks a lot of records for Padma Shri awardee Bhagat. It not only made him the first para-athlete to win three consecutive gold medals in the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships but also equalled the record of Chinese great Lin Dan’s five titles in the world Championships. He has won gold in 2009, 2015, 2019, 2022 and 2024. These three medals take his tally to 14 which includes six gold, three silver and five bronze medals in all categories.

Pramod Bhagat and Daniel Bethell’s rivalry is well known, and this match proved to be exactly that. The 1 hour 40-minute-long match was exhaustive, tight and could have gone either side.

Pramod Bhagat started the game really well, winning five consecutive points and had a good lead. But Bethell came back strongly to win the first set 21-14. The second set started in the same fashion aggressively, but as the match progressed there were long rallies and both players couldn’t find any opening, and their defense was spectacular. Somehow Bhagat forced errors from Bethell to win the second set 21 -15.

With the match poised evenly, Bhagat once again changed his tactics in the decider to confuse Bethell which gave him the edge and secured the 21-14 winning his third World Championships in a row. Apart from the gold, Bhagat also won bronze in Men’s Doubles with Sukant Kadam and also another bronze in Mixed Doubles with Manisha Ramdass.

Commenting on the same, Bhagat said, "This win holds a very special place in my heart for various reasons. First being that I have managed to equal my idol Lin Dan’s record of 5 world championships and second being having been able to retain three consecutive world championships.”

He further added, “This match with Bethell would be my toughest both mentally and physically. I have not been playing well against Bethell the past few months and this was my time to prove doubters wrong. The match was exhaustive and Bethell played brilliantly but somehow, I managed to pull out a win.”

On the other hand, Sukant Kadam also secured bronze medals in Men's Singles and Men’s Doubles along with Pramod Bhagat.

In other results, Suhas Yathiraj defeated Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan to win gold in the SL4 category. He won in straight sets 21-18, 21-18. India’s Krishna Nagar won gold in the SL6 category, defeating China’s Lin Naili in a close contest with score reading 22-20, 22-20. Chirag Baretha and Raj Kumar went down fighting to Malaysia’s Muhammad Fareez Anuar and Cheah Liek Hou in the Men’s Doubles SU 5 category.



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Title: Pramod Bhagat wins gold at Para-Badminton World Championships; equals Lin Dan's record for 5 titles

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