Table Tennis Federation of India on Sunday announced a Rs 31 cash reward for Bhavinaben Patel, who became the first Indian to win a table tennis medal at the Paralympics.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister and TTFI President Dushyant Chautala announced the cash reward via a social media post.
Bhavinaben lost the final on Sunday but capped off a memorable campaign with a historic silver.
The 34-year-old Patel’s impressive run at the Games ended with a fighting 7-11 5-11 6-11 loss to China’s Ying Zhou, a two-time gold medallist, in the women’s singles Class 4 summit clash which lasted 19 minutes.
“I’m extremely delighted to win a medal but also a bit disappointed as well. I got a bit nervous,” said Bhavina, who had also lost to the same opponent in the league fixture.
“(But) I can assure you that (the) next time I meet her (Zhou), you will see a different me. She clearly got the better of me and had all the shots in her book to outsmart my effort,” added Bhavina.
For a woman coming from a small village in Mahesana district of Gujarat, this fairy-tale is laced with nothing but hard work. Five years ago, red tape had played a part in Bhavina missing the 2016 Rio Paralympics and she was completely shattered.
“It took her over three months to get over it,” recalls husband Nikul.
“We have been married for four years and I’m saying she is much stronger than me. There was an issue with her paperwork (before Rio) because of which she missed the International Table Tennis Federation deadline and missed the opportunity. We both were devastated. I’m amazed the way Bhavina has kept herself motivated,” said Nikul.