Bhavina Patel is an Indian para-athlete who represents India in para table tennis events. In August 2021, in the women’s singles Class 4 event, she defeated world number 5 Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, becoming the first Indian to win a medal at the Paralympics.
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Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel was born on Thursday, 6 November 1986 (age 34 years; as of 2021) in Sundhiya village of Mehsana district in Gujarat, India. Her zodiac sign is scorpio. In 2004, she moved to Ahmedabad from her native place Sundhiya in Mehsana along with her family, where she attended Blind People’s Association (BPA) to pursue an ITI course.
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Bhavina’s father, Hasmukhbhai Patel, owns a small cutlery kiosk in Ahmedabad.
Bhavina is married to a businessman named Nikul Patel.
Bhavina came into the limelight for the first time when she achieved the ranking of World Number 2 in 2011 when she won the Silver Medal for India at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship. Her second Silver medal came in the women’s singles Class 4 category at the Asian Para table tennis championships hosted by Beijing in October 2013. At the 2017 Asian Para Table Tennis Championship, which was held in Beijing, she won bronze, defeating Korean player Kang by 3-0 in the Women’s Singles Class 4 Category. When Bhavina qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in 2021, she became the first Indian female table tennis player to qualify for the Paralympics.
Para Athlete Bhavina Patel to start campaign for #India in the Para Table Tennis event from 25th of August. Departed today with lots of enthusiasm and hopes to give her best for the country@Media_SAI @MIB_India@ianuragthakur @tapasjournalist pic.twitter.com/oR45mVBr1N
— DD News (@DDNewslive) August 18, 2021
Earlier, at the 2016 Rio Paralympics, she also secured a berth; however, she could not compete since the Board failed to complete a form. Sonalben Patel, also from Gujarat, competed in table tennis events for India at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, where she and Bhavina were paired for the women’s doubles event.
✈️ Destination Tokyo
Tokyo #Paralympics Contingent comprising of Bhavina Patel & Sonalben Patel to leave for Tokyo today from IGI Airport, Delhi
PCI President @DeepaAthlete will accompany the Contingent to Tokyo to support & motivate our Para Athletes#Cheer4India#Praise4Para pic.twitter.com/UGqeO8mdA5
— SAI Media (@Media_SAI) August 18, 2021
Bhavina beat Serbia’s Borislava Peric Rankovic in the quarterfinal match of the women’s singles Class 4 event on 26 August 2021, to advance to the semifinals at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. After the quarterfinals, she said,
I could win my semifinal match due to the support of the people of India. Please keep supporting me so that I can win my semifinal match.”
Bhavina Patel has won five gold, 13 silver, and eight bronze medals in 28 international events for India (as of August 2021).
Bhavina Patel has been bestowed with the Sardar Patel and Eklavya Award.
Bhavina Patel is from Sundhiya, a town near Vadnagar, the taluka where Prime Minister Narendra Modi grew up.
As part of the sports quota, Bhavina has been hired by the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC).
Bhavina was a one-year-old when she contracted polio that affected her entire lower body. Bhavina says she contracted Polio from another medication she used for an illness. The illness disheartened her family, but they stood by her during this difficult time in her life.
Bhavina wanted to become a teacher, but she was rejected during an interview due to her physical disabilities, so her father, Hasmukhbhai Patel, decided to enroll her in an ITI course after he saw an advertisement from the Blind People’s Association (BPA). After joining the association in 2007, Bhavina has never looked back. Reportedly, during her time at BPA, Bhavina developed a keen interest in table tennis.
Bhavina is the first Indian woman to qualify for the Paralympics, and she is also the first woman to secure a medal at the Paralympics.
Bhavina says it was always her dream to take part in the Paralympics.
To play in Paralympics has been a dream of mine, this dream did not even let me sleep.”
She gives credit to her family for her success. She says,
Without my family’s support, this would have been impossible and my parents are nothing less than God to me.”
Bhavina believes a sportsperson’s true strength lies in their mind, not in their bodies. She says,
You need to train your mind to be victorious. Then everything falls into place. Whether you are disabled or not, I would give the same advice: Never ever underestimate yourself. Each one has a unique talent, which can be brought out and honed.”