Sonal Ben Patel raised hopes of scripting an upset of the Tokyo Paralympic Games on the opening day on August 25.
The Indian para table tennis player won the opening game with ease against World No. 4 Qian Li of China in their women’s singles Class 3 Group D match. It raised expectations of an upset victory. However, the Chinese player, who has won four gold medals and one silver from three previous editions of the Paralympics, regrouped to beat Sonal 11-9, 3-11, 17-15, 7-11, 4-11.
Click | For More Coverage of the Tokyo Paralympics and Olympics From Newsclick Sports
Sonal had a great start and took the first game 11-9 in just six minutes.However, the seasoned Chinese player made a comeback in the second game and won it by 11-3.
The Chinese paddler overcome her initial jiggers and won the next two games 11-7, 11-4 to win the match.
Sonal will lock horns with South Korea’s Mi Gyu Lee in the next match of the Class 3 category of Paralympics in which the players have no trunk control, yet their arms are minimally affected by the impairment.
Also Read | Full Schedule of Indians at Tokyo Paralympics
India has sent its biggest-ever contingent - 54 to Tokyo Paralympics. The para-athletes will compete in nine disciplines from August 25 to September 5.
All eyes will be on India's track and field contingent which will enter the fray later this week. The likes of Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu will be leading the charge as India hope to return with a rich haul this edition.
Read more sports stories from Newsclick