Kumar Nitesh beat Paralympic Games champion Pramod Bhagat for only the second time in 16 meetings as he captured the SL3 men’s singles title at the Brazil Para Badminton International 2023. Incidentally, his only previous win over Bhagat had also come at the same event last year.
Over the last couple of years, the SL3 class has been dominated by either Bhagat or Daniel Bethell.
Nitesh was among six Indian gold medal winners. The big surprise was the relatively unknown Thulasimathi Murugesan, playing only the second event of her career – after a break of eight years – picking up two gold medals and a silver.
In the SU5 women’s singles final, Murugesan beat Maud Lefort 21-12 21-18 after the Frenchwoman had taken down world champion Manisha Ramadass in the semifinals.
Murugesan and Manasi Girishchandra Joshi then captured the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles gold, beating compatriots Mandeep Kaur /Ramadass 21-11 21-10.
Murugesan’s silver came in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles with Kumar Nitesh, as they faltered in the final against Indonesia’s Hikmat Ramdani/Leani Ratri Oktila.
Ranking points from the Brazil Para Badminton International count towards qualification for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.