Odisha’s Pramod Bhagat wins gold at Para-Badminton World Championship in Thailand

Bhubaneswar: In what could be the longest finals in Para-Badminton, Padma Shri Pramod Bhagat defeated England’s Daniel Bethell in the SL3 category to retain his gold at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2024 in Thailand, today.

This win breaks a lot of records for Pramod, not only makes him the first para-athlete to win three consecutive gold at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships but also equals the record of Lin Dan’s five World Championships. He has won gold in 2009, 2015, 2019, 2022 and 2024.

Pramod and Daniel Bethell’s rivalry is well known, and this match proved to be exactly that.

The 1-hour 40-minute-long match was exhaustive, tight, and could have gone either side. Pramod Bhagat started the game really with 5 consecutive points and had a good lead, but Bethell came back strongly to win the first set 21-14.

The second set started in the same fashion aggressively, but as the match progressed there were long rallies and both players couldn’t find an opening, and their defense was spectacular. Somehow, Pramod forced errors from Bethell’s side to win the second set 21 -15.

With the match poised evenly, the deciding set was going to be crucial, and Pramod once again changed his tactics to confuse Bethell which gave him the edge and secured the 21-14 winning his 3rd world championships in a row.

Apart from the gold, Pramod also won Bronze in Men’s Doubles with Sukant Kadam and another Bronze in Mixed Doubles with Manish Ramdass.

Commenting on the same, Pramod said, “This win holds a very special place in my heart for various reasons. First being that I have managed to equal my idol Lin Dan’s record of 5 world championships and second being having been able to retain 3 consecutive world championships.”

He further added, “This match with Bethell would be my toughest both mentally and physically. I have not been playing well against Bethell the past few months and this was my time to prove doubters wrong. The match was exhaustive and Bethell played brilliantly but somehow I managed to pull out a win.”

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