Gautam Buddh Nagar (Noida) District Magistrate and shuttler Suhas Yathiraj's Paralympics run culminated with a silver medal for India on Sunday, with the journey also earning him a place in the annals of Indian Administrative Service (IAS). The 38-year-old Suhas, who was outdone by his 23-year-old top seed French rival Lucas Mazur in a thriller of a final, became the only IAS officer to have not only participated but also won a medal in the Paralympics.
"Congratulations Suhas L Y, IAS, DM G B Nagar (Noida) for winning the silver medal in men's singles SL4 para-badminton at Tokyo Paralympics. We and the entire nation are proud of you," the IAS Association, a group of serving and retired central administrative officers, tweeted. The IAS Association's tweet also carried the hashtag 'Cheer4Suhas', a trending buzzword on social media to rally support for Yathiraj during the showpiece event, along with another hashtag 'Cheer4India'.
The Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, too, chipped in with a congratulatory message for the Karnataka-born UP cadre IAS officer, who has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic management in Gautam Buddh Nagar since the end of March 2020. Secretary, Inter-State Council Secretariat of Union Home Ministry, Sanjay Gupta also heaped praise on the 2007-batch IAS officer for his achievement.
Suhas wins hearts. India loses another 63 min cliffhanger. He led in a decider too but a change of court at 11-10 turned the tables. Stupendous achievement for which nation is proud. Sadly, 2nd seed Tarun too loses the Bronze play-off.
Avani Lekhara couldn't make it to the finals in the mixed event, the senior IAS officer tweeted. Suhas' IAS and IPS colleagues in Gautam Buddh Nagar too showered praise on his historic performance.
Greater Noida Authority CEO Narendra Bhooshan said Suhas has done the fraternity proud, describing him as an unprecedented combination of service with sports. Every IAS officer tries to excel in public service but Suhas has broken the barrier and excelled in sports also, that too in Paralympics. He has proved that mental toughness helps break all barriers and you can reach the top, the senior IAS officer told PTI.
Suhas has been the role model for lakhs of Indians, sportspersons, and more importantly specially-abled people, Bhooshan said. Noida Police Commissioner Alok Singh tweeted, "Well done Suhas L Y, you fought like a champion, made us all proud of your mettle."
IAS officer and former Gautam Buddh Nagar DM Brajesh Narain Singh in his congratulatory note for Suhas on Twitter said, "A great feat for the country, the state, the services, and Gautam Buddh Nagar. The unseeded Suhas ended his campaign with a historic silver after going down fighting against top seed Lucas Mazur of France in the men's singles SL4 class final at the Tokyo Paralympics on Sunday."
The IAS officer, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, produced an entertaining performance before narrowly going down 21-15 17-21 15-21 to two-time world champion Mazur in a 62-minute summit clash.
First Published: IST