On Monday, 30th August 2021, India woke up to a piece of amazing news straight from Tokyo, a gold, two silvers and a bronze from Paralympics. After witnessing the incredible feat of Indian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics, the whole country is now cheering for our Paralympians.
Later the same day, India secured 2nd gold with Sumit Antil’s excellent javelin throw.
These remarkable athletes have shown the world over these past years that they are no less with their disabilities. Post the Summer Paralympic debut at the 1968 games, India’s contingent has participated at every Paralympics since 1984.
We are catching these top athletes in the action of the 12 members Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics now as it has been incepted from 24th August.
On Friday, 27th August, Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel became the first Indian female table tennis player to secure a medal. Bhavina Patel was diagnosed with polio.
entered the semi-finals with a stunning straight-game win over world number five Borislava Peric Rankovic of Serbia in the women’s singles Classic event. She then created history by reaching the Table Tennis Final. On August 29th, she won the silver medal. She then thanked Indians for their love and blessings and requested to keep them coming her way.
The Indian camp also rejoiced with another female athlete’s performance in Tokyo, Avani Lekhra. The 19-year-old took the internet by storm and beat the Monday Blues along with the world record with her gold in shooting. Avani, on her debut performance in the Paralympics, allowed India to listen to the National Anthem again in Tokyo. The moment was joyous for the citizens and the athletes including the golden boy Neeraj Chopra who congratulated her on social media.
Lekhara idolised Abhinav Bindra and started shooting after meeting with a car accident in 2012 and suffering spinal cord injuries.
The wrestler turned javelin thrower Paralympian shocked the world with his record-breaking performance. He went on to break three world records including his personal best in the javelin throw. Each throw defied gravity and hit the mark followed by Sunil’s scream which showcased the success. From 66.95 at his attempt, 98.08 m on the second attempt, which was his personal best, the world witnessed a spectacular performance when he threw his 5th attempt and reached 68.55. And with that, he secured gold for India.
The Indian Contingent entered the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics with one of the biggest contingents amongst the 54 members. The high jump ace Mariyappan Thangavelu is a gold medal effort at Rio 2016. The first Paralympic to win gold for India since 2004 was supposed to be India’s flagbearer for the opening ceremony. However, the same was not possible as he came into close contact with a Covid-19 positive passenger on his trip to Tokyo. His tests came negative. On 31st August 2021, he jumped his way to the podium and was recognised with a silver medal.
2004 was a game-changing Summer Olympics for the Indian contingent, given the man Davendra Jhanjharia’s gold medal in the Javelin throw. The veteran is not only the first Indian Paralympic player to win two gold medals at the Paralympic. After his first throw at Athens, the athlete won the second medal at the same event with a better previous record in the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The silver man with a golden arm, Yogesh brought silver home on August 30th. The
B.com graduate from Delhi’s Kirorimal College threw the disc to a best of 44.38 m in his sixth and last attempt. A must watch the performance for the audience and Indians. He clinched a silver medal and represented India on the podium.
Yet another day at the Paralympics, Singhraj Adhana, from Haryana, India. He clenched the medal for the country with a total score in the final was 216.8. He finished in the third position to add to India's medal tally. In the 60-shot qualifying cycle, Singhraj had scored 569 points to finish sixth.
Paralympians To Look Forward To
Another Javelin athlete who has made the country proud is Tek Chand. At Tokyo Paralympic 2020, Tek Chand was a part of the Parade of nations as the 17th nation. Given that Mariyappan Thangavelu couldn’t become the flag-bearer, Tekchand took the lead and became India’s flagbearer. He threw his season-best distance of 9.04m in Men’s Shotput F-55 event but finished last in the 8-man final.
The 54 member contingent includes these names:
Harvinder Singh, archery, recurve men's open individual
Vivek Chikara, archery, recurve men's open individual
Rakesh Kumar, archery, compound men's open individual/ mixed
Shyam Sundar Swami, archery, compound, men's open individual/ mixed
Jyoti Balyan, archery, compound women's open individual/ mixed
Amit Kumar Saroha, athletics, men’s club throw F51
Dharambir Nain, athletics, men’s club throw F51
Vinod Kumar, athletics, men’s discus throw F52
Yogesh Kathuniya, athletics, men’s discus throw F56
Nishad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T47
Ram Pal, athletics, men’s high jump T47
Sharad Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T63
Varun Singh Bhati, athletics, men’s high jump T63
Praveen Kumar, athletics, men’s high jump T64
Navdeep Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F41
Sundar Singh Gurjar, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
Ajeet Singh, athletics, men’s javelin throw F46
Ranjeet Bhati, athletics, men’s javelin throw F57
Sandeep Choudhary, athletics, men’s javelin throw F64
Arvind Malik, athletics, men’s shot put F35
Soman Rana, athletics, men’s shot put F57
Simran Sharma, athletics, women’s 100m T13
Kashish Lakra, athletics, women’s club throw F51
Ekta Bhyan, athletics, women’s club throw F51
Bhagyashri Jadhav, athletics, women’s shot put F34
Pramod Bhagat, badminton, men’s singles SL3 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
Manoj Sarkar, badminton, men’s singles SL3
Tarun Dhillon, badminton, men’s singles SL4
Suhas Yathiraj, badminton, men’s singles SL4
Krishna Nagar, badminton, men’s singles SL4
Parul Parmar, badminton, women’s singles SL4
Palak Kohli, badminton, women’s singles, SU5 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5
Prachi Yadav, para canoeing, women’s 200m VL2
Jaideep Deswal, powerlifting, men’s 65kg
Sakina Khatun, powerlifting, women’s 50kg
Akash, shooting, men’s 25m pistol (P3) and 50m pistol (P4)
Manish Narwal, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1) and men’s 50m pistol (P4)
Deepender Singh, shooting, men’s 10m air pistol (P1)
Rahul Jakhar, shooting, men’s 25m pistol mixed (P3)
Sidhartha Babu, shooting, 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3) and 50m rifle prone mixed (R6).
Swaroop Unhalkar, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1)
Deepak Saini, shooting, men’s 10m air rifle standing (R1), 10m air rifle prone mixed (R3), 50m rifle prone mixed (R6) and 50m rifle 3P (R7).
Rubina Francis, shooting, women’s 10m air pistol (P2)
Niranjan Mukundan, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7
Suyash Jadhav, swimming, men’s 50m butterfly S7 and 200m individual medley SM7.
Sonalben Patel, table tennis, women’s singles - Class 3
Aruna Tanwar, taekwondo, women’s K44-49 kg.