Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Bhavina Patel for winning silver medal in Table Tennis at Paralympics games in Tokyo. Bhavina Patel made history for India on the National Sports Day by becoming the first Table Tennis player from the country to win a medal in the Paralympic games.
Bhavina's silver win is India's first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games and the 13th overall -- 4 gold, 5 silver and 4 bronze. She also became only the second Indian female athlete to win a medal in the Paralympics after Deepa Malik, who bagged silver in Shotput F43 in 2016.
Congratulating Patil on her big win, PM Modi said her journey would inspire more youngsters towards sports.
"The remarkable Bhavina Patel has scripted history! She brings home a historic Silver medal. Congratulations to her for it. Her life journey is motivating and will also draw more youngsters towards sports," Modi tweeted.
2010 photo goes viral
PM Modi is often seen praising and energising athletes. By interacting with Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics athletes, PM Modi's words have kept the spirits of the participants high. But the prime minister's enthusiasm concerning sports is not new and this viral photo is the ultimate proof.
An old photo of PM Modi with Paralympic Silver medalist Bhavina Patil and TT player Sonal Patel is going viral on social media. In the photo, the then-CM of Gujarat, Narendra Modi is seen holding Sonal Patel's wheelchair.
The photo is from 2010, when both players were headed to the Delhi Commonwealth Games. The then-CM Modi met the athletes among other participants and wished them for the games ahead.
Tokyo Paralympics 2020
Bhavina, ranked 12th in the world, had made an incredible run to the final by beating the gold and silver medallist of the 2016 Rio Paralympics. On Sunday, she found Zhou, winner at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 games, too strong to handle and lost 3-0 (7-11, 5-11, 6-11) in a 19-minute encounter in women's singles Class 4. Bhavina, in her maiden Paralympic Games, had lost to Zhou in her opening preliminary round Group A match too.
(Additional agency inputs)