Indian shuttler Krishna Nagar on Sunday beat Hong Kong's Kai Man Chu to win Gold in the Badminton Men's Singles SH6 event at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020. This is India's fifth gold metal in this edition of the Paralympics, and the total medal tally now rises to 19.
"Historic performance by Krishan Nagar. Strong and determined, you proved your mettle by winning the gold medal in badminton at #Paralympics and keeping the tricolour high. Your excellence is commendable. Many Indians will be inspired by you. Congratulations and best wishes," said President Ram Nath Kovind.
"Happy to see our Badminton players excel at the Tokyo Paralympics. The outstanding feat of Krishna Nagar has brought smiles on the faces of every Indian. Congratulations to him for winning the Gold Medal. Wishing him the very best for his endeavours ahead," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sharing a picture with the athlete.
"Great news from Tokyo Paralympics that Jaipur, Rajasthan’s para-badminton player Krishna Nagar has won a Gold medal in men’s Para Badminton SH6 event! A Superb Achievement for which we are so very proud! A very Big Congrats to him for his stellar success!!" cheered Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in a tweet.
Visuals from the match have since been widely shared, showing Nagar exultantly celebrating after realising that he had won. Elsewhere, another clip shared by news agency ANI showed his friends and family cheering as they watched the match from the SMS Stadium in Jaipur.
As expected, the early exchanges of the match were very close and the shuttle kept changing on the racquet of both players. The unseeded Man Kai then stepped up his game to gain a one-point lead by 11-10 going into the mid-game interval. Krishna came back strongly after the resumption as he wasted no time whatsoever in gaining the lead back. With his quick feet, the Indian managed to keep the rallies short and then was able to clinch the first set by 21-17 in 14 minutes.
Man Kai wasn't ready to get bogged down as clawed his way back in the second set. A series of errors by Krishna saw the Indian trailing by 11-7 at the one minute break. Man Kai continued with his momentum to put a scintillating display and closed out the second game by 21-16 in 14 minutes and pushed the match to the decider.
The third set saw the Indian firing on all his cylinders and grabbing the handy 11-7 lead going into the interval. Man Kai showed great fightback after the resumption as he levelled the match against the second seed at 14-14. But it was Krishna who held his nerves better as Man Kai's resistance soon perished as Krishna ran off to a 19-16 lead. Krishna won the third game by 21-17 in 15 minutes. The Indian grabbed the gold medal and Chu Man Kai had to settle with silver.
(With inputs from agencies)