Star Badminton player, Palak Kohli, has once again made the country proud by reaching into the Semi-finals of badminton mixed doubles at Tokyo Paralympics 2020.

 

Kohli defeated Turkey’s Zahra Balgar 21-12, 21-18 in the Women’s SU5 (upper limb impairment category) Group A match. She has her next singles match day after, said proud father Mahesh Kohli, a city-based businessman. She has paired with World No.1 Parmod Bhagat and will play the quarterfinal qualifying mixed doubles match tomorrow, he added.

 

Palak’s mother Simi Kohli said they watched the match on DD National this morning at Delhi. “We were here for some work and made sure that we watched her play live. It was really exciting to see her play at the age of 19 and defeat women who are far more experienced and elder to her. Had there been no Covid restrictions, we too would have surely accompanied her to Tokyo,” she said.

Palak, who has a deformed left arm since birth, won a silver medal in singles, bronze in doubles, and again bronze in mixed doubles. Not just this, last year she qualified for Tokyo Olympics and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Palak's family expressed their happiness and said that they never thought she would ever achieve such a great position, however she never gave up and achieved all this on her own.

They said she has sacrificed a lot to achieve this aim. They informed that she missed her Class XII CBSE examination in 2019 as the dates clashed with a qualifying tournament that was then being held in Peru.

 

Talking about her journey she said she started the game in 2017, and quickly managed success. In 2019 National Para Badminton Championship, she won three gold medals in Women Singles, Women Doubles, and under-19 Single Girls.

Internationally, she has won gold in Women Doubles in Uganda Para Badminton International-2019.

She also got silver in Women Doubles in Peru Para Badminton International-2020, besides a bronze in Japan Para Badminton International-2019. Besides, she holds the fifth rank in the world in para-badminton.

Last year, in 2020 Palak Kohli practiced on the temporary court in her residential society, amid the Corona virus pandemic. Palak was being trained under Dhronacharya award-winning coach Gaurav Khanna in his academy.

In March 2020 when the pandemic struck, players had to leave the academy before national lockdown. Palak bought an apartment, and her coach Gaurav Khanna helped in training and preparing her for the international tournament.

 

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Palak’s father Mahesh Kohli said that Palak used to do training in shifts during the lockdown period. She used to start her training at 6 am in morning. Gaurav Khanna has trained her daughter remarkably, said Mahesh Kohli.

 

Palak’s family resides at Islamganj here. She studies from St Joseph’s Convent School and later moved to Police DAV Public School here. Her elder brother Dhananjay Kohli is a B Tech passout from Thapar Institute. Her father runs a manufacturing unit at Surgical Complex on the Kapurthala Road.

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