Bhubaneswar: In the longest final of para-badminton, Padma Shri Pramod Bhagat defeated Daniel Bethell of England in the SL3 category to retain his gold at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships 2024 in Thailand today.

The win broke several records for Pramod, not only making him the first para-athlete to win three consecutive golds at the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships, but also equaling Lin Dan’s record of five World Championships. He has won gold in 2009, 2015, 2019, 2022 and 2024.

The rivalry between Pramod and Daniel Bethel is well known and this match proved to be exactly that. The match, which lasted 1 hour 40 minutes, was very long and tight and could have gone either way. Pramod Bhagat started the game with 5 consecutive points and took a good lead, but Bethel made a strong comeback and won the first set 21-14.

The second set also started in the same aggressive manner, but as the match progressed, there were long rallies and both players were unable to open up and their defense was excellent. Somehow, Pramod made mistakes on Bethel’s part and won the second set 21 -15.

With the match tied, the deciding set was going to be crucial and Pramod once again changed his strategy to confuse Bethel, giving him the lead and winning his third consecutive World Championship 21-14. Apart from this, Pramod won a bronze medal in men’s doubles with Sukant Kadam and another bronze medal in mixed doubles with Manish Ramdas. Commenting on the same, Pramod said, “This win holds a very special place in my heart for various reasons. Firstly, I have been able to equal my idol Lin Dan’s record of 5 World Championships and secondly, I have been able to retain 3 consecutive World Championships.”

He added, “This match with Bethel will be the toughest for me mentally and physically. I haven’t been playing well against Bethel the past few months and it was time for me to prove the doubters wrong. The match was tiring and Bethel played brilliantly but somehow I managed to win.”