India’s Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj ended his campaign with a historic silver after going down fighting against top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the men’s singles SL4 class final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday. The 38-year-old Noida district magistrate, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, led 11-10 at the decider, but just couldn’t dial down the aggression, getting carried away in the big points. Lucas Mazur kept his calm and raced to win decider 21-15. The left-handed angles and end-game poise helped as the Frenchman claimed gold.
Suhas had lost to Mazur, who has won three gold medals in European Championships as well, in the qualifying group A match but made a tremendous effort in the final to challenge his world No. 1 rival.
The district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) thus also became the first-ever IAS officer to win a medal at the Paralympics.
PM Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind congratulated Yathiraj on winning the Silver medal at #Tokyoparalympics2020.
“It was a very well played match. I am very proud of him. It is the pinnacle of hard work of the last six years,” Ritu Suhas, wife of Yathiraj told ANI after the win.
More medals are in store for India as Krishna Nagar also sailed into the men’s singles SH6 class final.
(With PTI inputs)