Suhas Yathiraj clinches silver in badminton men's singles SL4 event

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Suhas Yathiraj Image: Twitter
Suhas Yathiraj Image: Twitter

New Delhi : Suhas Yathiraj created history by becoming the first ever Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer to win a medal at the Paralympics. Suhas lost to Lucas Mazur of France in a closely fought final 21-15, 17-21, 15-21 to clinch silver in men’s singles badminton (SL4 category) on Sunday at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics.

This is India’s third medal in badminton at the ongoing Games after Pramod Bhagat created history by winning the country’s first ever badminton gold at the ongoing Games while Manoj Sarkar won bronze on Saturday.

Suhas’s medal means India’s overall tally at the ongoing Games has now risen to 18  that include four gold, eight silver and six bronze so far. Earlier, in the bronze medal clash of the same event, India’s Tarun Dhillon suffered a straight game defeat to Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan 17-21, 11-21 to finish fourth.

Suhas is also an IAS officer of the 2007 batch and the first ever Indian bureaucrat to have taken part at the Games. It took the 38-year-old less than 20 minutes to sail through his first two matches to make the semifinals.

In the final, Suhas faced a tough fight, with his opponent Mazur. While the first game was pocketed with relative ease, Mazur did return afresh after the changeover and gave the Indian a much better fight. And as he approached the lead, began expressing himself more - his body language changed as he encouraged his supporters at the court to be louder and they responded.

As did Mazur who won the second game 21-17, leaving the fate of the contest to the decider - the third game. He carried the momentum in the final game too, winning it 21-15 to win the gold.

Suhas is currently serving as the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida).