By Anuj Mishra
Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], December 27 (ANI): The fourth National Para-Badminton Championship not only witnessed some enthralling contest but also 'world-class' games from the shuttlers who made sure the road to the podium wasn't a cake walk for the Tokyo Paralympics medallists.
Paralympic gold medallist Krishna might have won three gold in the recently concluded tournament but the star shuttler had to fight it out for the ultimate glory.
"I felt that players were ready to give a fight, they had improved their game especially in my category which will also help me form a strong doubles pair. The game got over in two sets but the opponent didn't allow me to play lose game," Krishna Nagar told ANI after winning his men's singles finals in the SH6 category.
Haryana's Nitesh Kumar defeated Tokyo Pralaympics bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar to secure Gold in the SL4 category in the National Championship. The World No 7 had defeated local hero and Tokyo gold medallist Pramod Bhagat in the semi-finals of the tournament.
Deepa Malik, the President of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) said the Para-Badminton Championship here in Bhubaneswar has further increased a lot of competition among the shuttlers ahead of the Paris Games in 2024.
"Definitely there will be a lot of medals for India (in Paris 2024), as you can see medallist from Tokyo sweating it out here. It wasn't a cakewalk for them, they were winning as definitely they had a better game but a tough fight was coming up," Deepa Malik told ANI.
"So if the same people are training for the next two years, I definitely see a lot of competition within the country as the National Championship has witnessed World-Class badminton here in the stadium," she added.
Sukant Kadam, who won gold in the Uganda International tournament continued his great run and clinched gold in the SL4 Category the fourth National Para-Badminton Championship. The ace shuttler defeated world no 2 Tarun Dhillon in 3 gruelling sets to win the title.
Sukant Kadam too admitted that his road to the glory wasn't easy as players have improved their game in the last couple of years.
"I will mention about the youngsters they have improved a lot, it wasn't a cake walk for us. Everybody was playing well, every match was important and we too have to keep on working on our game since the competition has increased among the shuttlers," said Sukant Kadam.
Meanwhile, Haryana's Nitesh Kumar doubled his gold tally as the fourth Para-Badminton National Championships came to an end on Sunday.
Nitesh not only won gold in Men's SL3 category but also won the men's double along with Tarun. The pair defeated World No 1 Pramod Bhagat and Manoj Sarkar in straight sets. The final score read 21-19, 21-11. (ANI)