Was determined to win first game against Fujihara, says bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar | Tokyo Paralympics News – Times of India

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TOKYO: After winning a bronze medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics, shuttler Manoj Sarkar on Saturday said his focus was on winning the first game against his Japanese opponent as that would have enabled him to play the entire match on the front foot.
“Actually, my target was to win the first game. I was playing in Japan against a Japanese opponent. I had beaten this opponent before, but the first game proved to be a close one. I was determined to win the first game. We are playing para-badminton for a very long time but helping the country to win a medal at the Paralympics is huge, the credit goes to my coach Gaurav sir. SAI has also played a big role and I want to thank them for keeping the belief in us,” said Sarkar during a virtual press conference.

“I played my first match against Pramod Bhagat. When I play against an opponent from my own country, I do not feel that competitive spirit, but this competition has shown me that an opponent is an opponent and I cannot let the emotions get the better of me,” he added.
Sarkar won a bronze medal after defeating Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara in the men’s singles SL3 event here at the Yoyogi National Stadium. Sarkar defeated Fujihara 22-20, 21-13 in the bronze medal match. The entire match lasted for 47 minutes.
The first game went back and forth, but it was Sarkar who managed to hold his own, winning it 22-20.
The Indian shuttler carried forward his momentum and ended up winning the match in straight games.
Earlier on Saturday, Manoj Sarkar had lost the men’s singles SL3 semi-final match in straight games. Daniel Bethell of Great Britain defeated Manoj 21-8, 21-10 in the semi-final clash. Meanwhile, Pramod Bhagat won the final to take home the gold medal.

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