When Pramod Bhagat was a child, he had two big dreams – to be a Paralympic Games champion and to meet Indian cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.
Bhagat, now 33 years old, realised the former on 4 September when he defeated Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell in the men’s singles SL3 final 21-14 21-17 at the Yoyogi National Stadium.
On Wednesday, four days after standing atop the podium at Tokyo 2020, the world No.1 was presented with the chance to meet Tendulkar, one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history, at his residence in Mumbai.
An overjoyed Bhagat later shared snaps of his delight on his social media channels.
CHILDHOOD DREAM COMES TRUE!
I can't believe how happy I am today
as a kid I took inspiration from Sir @sachin_rt
The words you spoke to me today will stay with me forever & will keep inspiring me for life.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️
I will be sleepless tonight 😍 pic.twitter.com/KdssKlFqij
— Pramod Bhagat (@PramodBhagat83) September 8, 2021
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Tendulkar, 48, replied with a tweet: “Even I was delighted to meet you, Pramod. It pleased me to know about your childhood. What you did for your country at the Paralympics is a very big achievement. You are a source of inspiration for the entire world, not only for India.”
Bhagat’s win was India’s first Para badminton gold at the Paralympic Games before SH6 shuttler Nagar Krishna added another a day later.