Dinesh Deshapriya appeared a normal paddler when he lost 4-1 to Liam Pitchford of England in a men's individual first round contest of the Commonwealth Games table tennis at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Sunday.

But the 26-year-old Sri Lankan is no ordinary player for he suffers from haemophilia, an inherited bleeding disorder where there is a partial or complete absence of clotting factors.

He is the lone haemophilia paddler in the Games.

“It's a situation where more exertion in play is not advised. But he (Dinesh) is playing because he wants to play.

Taking injection

“Two days before the Games, he took injections and that is considered normal,” said Mahinda Ellepola, coach of the Sri Lanka team.

“It requires great courage under adversity to compete. By playing he's taking a risk.

“He is determined. Dinesh is a good example for others,” said Mahinda.

Dinesh, who was part of the team which bagged the team silver in the SAF Games in Dhaka this year, said his desire is to win the Sri Lankan National table tennis championship.

With all the top 16 players in the singles main draw of 64 (both men and women) been given a bye to the second round, players like Dinesh and a few other paralympic athletes like Sonal Patel drew the spectators' attention at the outside courts.

Huge cheer for Sonal

Sonal, playing in her first CWG, received the most applause when she took on Cathy Morrow of Australia.

There was so much noise that prompted Brit Clarke, the Australian coach to say, “This is the loudest cheers I have heard in the Games.”

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