Tokyo Paralympics: He did the impossible, says wife of silver medallist Suhas Yathiraj

Suhas Yathraj became the first-ever IAS officer to have not only participated but also won a medal in the Paralympics.

Suhas Yathiraj absolutely decimated Indonesia's Fredy Setiawan in the semi-final. (Image Credit: Twitter)
By Arnab Mukherji | Sep 6, 2021 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Suhas Yathraj, an IAS officer won a silver medal in the recently concluded Tokyo Paralympics to make the nation proud. Suhas settled for silver in the Badminton Men’s Singles (SL4) final, after suffering a defeat in the final against world No 1 Lucaz Mazur by a 21-15, 17-21, 15-21 margin. The Indian shuttler recorded a triumph in the opening game by a comprehensive margin. He further seemed set to wrap up the second clash in an astute manner. However, Lucaz brought all his experience to the fore, pulling off a stellar comeback in a tight game. Both shuttlers gave it their all in the decider with the tie going down to the wire. However, the Frenchman motivated by some extremely vocal support from the home contingent managed to pull off a stellar comeback win.

However, Suhas’ fantastic performance certainly deserves all the appreciation, with the shuttler becoming the first-ever IAS officer to have not only participated but also won a medal in the Paralympics. The Indian para-athlete has received congratulatory messages from all parts of the world, with wife Ritu Suhas full of praise following his achievement.

“We are very proud of him. Whatever he has done is a live example for all of us. It was an impossible attempt, I believe. Wins and losses are part and parcel of life but the way he put in all his efforts is what I am going to remember forever,” said Ritu in an interaction with PTI as quoted by India Today.

“The race for medals is endless. Today it’s silver, tomorrow it’s gold. Then it would be something else. The biggest achievement is participating in a world tournament and realising a long-nurtured dream. Bringing glory to India and Uttar Pradesh at the world stage is the achievement. So many phone calls, messages and people’s response on social media. Couldn’t have imagined this and so all this is going to stay with us as memories. I am very happy today,” she added.

“Get very anxious during his matches so I do not watch them”

Ritu admitted that she does not watch Suhas’ matches live. However, the same is the case because doing so makes her anxious.

“I always spoke to him before and after the match. I get very anxious during his matches so I do not watch them. He only calls me up after every match to share the results. Suhas does not believe in taking pressure. He plays with a free mind. He was really excited after the semi-finals victory and I also told him that a medal was certain now,” she said.

Fantastic performance against Fredy Setiawan of Indonesia

Suhas had stormed into the final after defeating Fredy Setiawan of Indonesia by a 21-9, 21-15 margin. He delivered a superb performance against Fredy, giving him no chance at any stage. It was a stunning display from the Indian who raced away to a 10-0 lead before the latter could record his first point of the match. While the Indonesian attempted to make a comeback, the deficit was too big to overcome with Suhas registering a 21-9 triumph in the first game.

The Indian faced sterner competition in the second game, going into the mid-game break with a 11-6 lead. Suhas picked up quick successive points to gain an eight-point lead before racing towards the matchpoint to pocket the game at 21-15.