Ahmedabad: Bhavina Patel, the silver medalist in table tennis at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, was awarded a cash prize of Rs. 3 crore by the Gujarat government for the honour.
Bhavina is the first person from Gujarat to have won a medal at the Olympics or Paralympics, the first from India to have won a medal in para table tennis, and only the second Indian woman to win a medal at the Paralympics.
Sports minister Harsh Sanghavi visited the champion sportsperson’s residence and handed over the Rs. 3 crore cheque along with the Divyang Khel Pratibha Award to her. He also felicitated her with a shawl, and also played table tennis with her.
“This daughter of Gujarat created history by winning the silver medal at Tokyo Paralympics and brought frame to the entire country. Her medal win, despite all the odds and the Covid-19 pandemic challenges, is truly inspirational. I feel privileged and honoured handing over this cheque to her,” Sanghavi said on the occasion, adding the state government is committed to supporting sportspersons.
Bhavina Patel spoke about the challenges she had faced in practice during pandemic times, and exhorted aspiring sportspersons to focus on goals and make efforts to achieving them.
Bhavina, who has been playing table tennis for 20 years, secured the silver medal by entering the semifinals at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. She suffered a defeat at the hands of Zhou King in the finals. Bhavina has said she is focusing on improving her performance and winning a gold medal at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.