India got off to a good start on the second day of the para-badminton competition at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with Suhas J Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon winning their respective group stage matches in men’s singles SL4 category.
Yathiraj started with an impressive win against Jan Niklas Pott of Germany winning 2-0 (21-9, 21-3) in straight games in 19 minutes. Dhillon also made a similar start, beating Sriripong Teamarrom of Thailand 2-0 (21-7, 21-13) in 23 minutes in a Group A match.
The 38-year-old Yathiraj, who is the district manager of Gautam Buddha Nagar in UP, started aggressively and won the first game 21-9 in nine minutes. He won six successive points and bagged eight points off his opponent’s serve. He opened up a 12-point lead and closed the game strongly.
In the second game, Yathiraj was even more dominant and enjoyed an 18-point lead at one time as he closed his first match for a comprehensive win.
In a Group B match, Dhillon enjoyed a 14-point lead at one stage in the first game, winning seven points off his opponent’s serve. He won the first game in 10 minutes and then went on to claim the next game in 14 minutes, winning 15 points off his serve.
Dhillon had initially trailed by five points but came back to not only take the lead but also won the game.
However, India suffered a setback as the women’s doubles pair of Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar lost to China’s Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui 21-7, 21-5 in a Group B encounter of the SL4 category.
The Chinese pair is seeded second and is expected to win the three-team Group. France’s Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel are the third team in the group.