TOKYO — Manoj Sarkar, the Indian shuttler who won the bronze medal in the recently concluded Tokyo Paralympics on Sept. 4, said that he got further motivated after his coach Gaurav Khanna said to win the second game more comprehensively.
“I am delighted with this medal,” he said.
“I learned that we play against the opponents using racquet and shuttle, but in this tournament, I learned that you have to play against the court. Every place has a different court. We need to get better at this.”
He said the pressure was there to be playing against a Japanese opponent in the bronze medal match.
“But as they say, when you have the blessing of your “guru,” you can win any battle,” said Sarkar.
“The first game was tough, but I managed to win it. After that, the coach told me that this game was a close affair, but make sure you win the next one comprehensively. I got further motivated after that.”
“I want to dedicate this medal to the country, but this match, the turning point credit has to go to my wife,” said Sarkar.
“Before the match, she told me that the way you show your anger (laughs), you should do the same on the court, and there would be no one left standing in front of you. I am not at all tired, my body wasn’t tired after the semifinal, nor it is after this game.”
“Sarkar may be telling you a story, but he is the player. Before the match, he was quite thoughtful about his strategy,” said Khanna, talking about Sarkar’s win.
“He is a thoughtful player. He is patient. But today, he was a different Sarkar. He was aggressive. The way he started the match, he was shouting after winning each game and rally. He was creating pressure on his opponent through body language as well. He was confident about his win in the match.”
Earlier on Sept. 4, Sarkar had lost the men’s singles SL3 semifinal match in straight sets. Daniel Bethell of Great Britain defeated Sarkar 21-8, 21-10 to seal the match in 38 minutes in the semifinal clash. Meanwhile, Pramod Bhagat won the final to take home the gold medal.
(With inputs from ANI)
Edited by Saptak Datta and Ritaban Misra
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