Pramod Bhagat is an Indian professional Para-badminton player from Vaishali district, Bihar. He is currently ranked world number one in para-badminton men’s singles SL3, and won a gold medal at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Men’s singles SL3. Bhagat beat Great Britain’s Daniel Bethell in the summit clash while Sarkar defeated Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara in the third place play-off, with both the Indians winning in straight games. In SL3 classification, athletes with lower limb impairment are allowed to compete.
Pramod was born on 4 June 1988 in Hajipur in Vaishali, district, Bihar. He one of the six brothers and sisters. He developed a defect on his left leg, when he was just five years old. At the age of 13, he went to watch a badminton match and was fascinated with the game. After that he decided to make his career in this. For next two year he took training at work hard on footwork, fitness and fixture of the game. Bhagat played his first international event against normal category players when he was 15 year old. He was encouraged by spectators, which motivated him to move ahead in his badminton career.
The top seeded Indian, also an Asian champion, showed great mental fortitude as he prevailed 21-14 21-17 over second Bethell in a thrilling final that lasted 45 mintues at the Yoyogi National Stadium. The 33 year old from Bhubaneswar also remains in contention for a bronze medal in mixed doubles SL3-SU5 class.
Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will square off against Japanese pair of Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal play off on Sunday. Bhagat , who had comtracted polio when he was 4 year old, picked up the sports after watching his neighbours play. Initially, he competed against able-bodied players before getting into competitive para badminton in 2006.
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PM Modi telephoned Bhagat and Sarkar and congratulated them on winning historic medal at Paralympics. He expressed joy that Indian athletes are excelling in different sports and that the sprits of confidence among the players are remarkable. He also had started his career as a badminton coach but took a break in 2019 to focus on Tokyo Paralympics. In 2019, he received the Arjuna Award and Biju Patnaik Award for Excellence in sports in India.