Indian shuttlers picked up from where they left off two years ago by winning all but three of the 16 events contested yesterday at Uganda Para Badminton International 2021.
At the last edition in 2019, India triumphed in 11 of 20 events and continued their dominance in Kampala, with 11 finals being all-Indian affairs this time around. Palak Kohli and Abu Hubaida emerged the most successful, taking home two gold medals and a silver each.
The 19-year-old defeated compatriot Shanthiya Viswanathan in the SU5 women’s singles final and combined with Mandeep Kaur Mandeep Kaur to ace SL3-SU5 women’s doubles. The silver came in SL3-SU5 mixed doubles alongside Pramod Bhagat.
“It’s the first time I’ve reached three finals in an international tournament,” said a satisfied Kohli. “I’m happy to go back to my hometown with two gold and one silver. Looking forward to the Asian Para Youth Games and success at more tournaments.”
Hubaida, who lost the WH1-WH2 men’s doubles final to German pair Rick Cornell Hellmann/Thomas Wandschneider, got his gold in WH2 men’s singles and WH1-WH2 mixed doubles together with Egyptian partner Shaimaa Samy Ab D Ellatif.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympic champion Bhagat also won three medals although all were silver. The 33-year-old suffered a surprise SL3 men’s singles final defeat to Manoj Sarkar.
India’s other winners include Sukant Kadam (SL4 men’s singles), Jyothi Jyothi (SL4 women’s singles) and Manasi Girishchandra Joshi (SL3 women’s singles).