Just as we thought that the Olympic fever was over, the excitement around the parallel version of the Olympic games i.e. the Paralympic Games, started gaining momentum.
The Paralympic Games began on 24th August in Tokyo. Infact, we had also captured the overall Paralympic performance of India in our last blog celebrating India’s win at the Paralympic.
For India, this edition of Paralympics went like a dream run and we finally got to see the terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics.
Firstly, from an Indian performance perspective, like the Olympics, this was the best performance of India in the Paralympics. Infact, this was for the first time the Indian contingent reached double figures in the medal tally.
Before this edition, the best performance of India was 4 medals and hence they completely outclassed their game this time to get to a tally of 19 medals that is almost five times better than their last best performance.
We had started writing this blog in the middle of this week and as every day passed, we kept doing edits as we got more and more medals. And each of those edits brought smiles and pride to our faces.
Consequently, at the end of the games, the terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics got home 19 medals in total with 5 Gold, 8 Silver and 6 Bronze medals. This is a phenomenal performance as before the Tokyo Paralympics, India had 12 medals in total.
So basically, India has outperformed their combined medals tally of the last 11 Paralympic events. This was nothing short of an incredible show by the Terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics with nearly every third Indian athlete bringing home a medal.
Moreover, we did have many close calls here where perhaps we could have converted Bronze to Silver or Silver to Gold but anyways let’s cherish the moment as the terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics had given us every reason to keep our head held high and be proud of this achievement.
In this blog, we have captured the details about the medal winners.
1. Avani Lekhara
She is the first Indian woman to win 2 medals in Paralympics. Avani is also the first Indian woman to win gold in the Paralympics. And she is just 19years old!!!
She won a Gold and a Bronze medal in 10m air rifle and 50m air rifle events respectively. By scoring 249.6 points in the final shooting event, the young shooter made a Paralympic record and tied it with the world record.
With this, she got her name in the Terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics.
- She has competed in the 2018 Asian games and is currently ranked 5th in the 10m Air Rifle standing.
- This girl will certainly get a lot of awards in the coming year.
2. Sumit Antil
Sumit Antil did what Neeraj Chopra did in Olympics – a Gold in Javelin throw final event. Precisely, he won a gold medal in the men’s javelin throw F64 category. Not only this but the throw in the Paralympic finals helped him set the world record in this category.
Hence this 23-year-old registered his name in the terrific 17 winners of the Tokyo Paralympics.
- At the World Para Athletics Grand Prix (Italy in 2019), he broke the world record in the F64 category en route to winning the Silver medal in the Combined Event.
- Post this he also won the Silver medal at World Para Athletics Championships, Dubai, 2019 and in the process broke his own world record in the F64 category
- No awards so far for him, but we hope that the gold medal will soon be followed by awards
3. Manish Narwal
Manish Narwal is currently ranked fourth in the world in the Men’s 10m Air pistol SH1. He won the gold medal in the Mixed P4 – 50m pistol SH1 event.
The addition of gold provided the thrust to boost Indian ranking further in the medal tally. Moreover, he is just 20 years old. In the SH1 events, the athletes are capable of supporting their firearms without assistance.
- Bronze medal in the world championship in 2019
- Arjuna Award in 2020
4. Pramod Bhagat
Pramod Bhagat is currently ranked world number one in para-badminton singles and he got the gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Apart from the Paralympics, Pramod had got medals in a lot of other competitions as well
- In the world championships, he won Gold in the singles event in 2015 (Stoke Mandeville), 2019 (Basel) and Bronze in the singles event in 2017 (Ulsan). At the Doubles event he won the gold medal in 2013 (Dortmund), 2019 (Basel) and Silver medal in 2015 (Stoke Mandeville).
- In the IWAS World games held in Sharjah in 2019, he won Gold in Men’s singles and Gold and Bronze in Men’s Doubles SL3-SU5 & SU5 events respectively.
- Arjuna Award in 2019
- Biju Patnaik Sports award in 2019
5. Krishna Nagar
Krishna Nagar is currently ranked world number 2 in para-badminton singles SS6 and he got the gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Apart from Paralympics, Krishna also has got medals in a lot of other competitions as well
- He won the Bronze medal in Men’s singles event and silver in the doubles event in the world championships held in 2019 in Switzerland,
- In the Asian Para Games held in 2018 in Indonesia, he won the Bronze medal in the men’s singles event
- Inspite of such brilliant performances, he is yet to receive an award, but we hope this gold medal will increase his chances.
6. Bhavina Patel
Bhavina won India’s first medal in the Tokyo Paralympics. She won the silver medal in the women’s para table tennis competition.
On her road to the finals in the Tokyo Paralympics, she had beaten world no.2 and gold medalist from the Rio Olympics.
Though in the finals, she lost to world no. 1, she gave the entire country to celebrate the opening medal of the Tokyo Paralympics.
- She won the Bronze medal in the Asian para table tennis championship in 2017.
- Inspite of this brilliant show, she is yet to get an award for her performance in sports.
7. Nishad Kumar
Nishad Kumar clinched the silver medal in his maiden appearance in the Paralympic event. He represented India in the men’s high jump T47 category and with the silver medal, he also created a new Asian record of 2.06m.
He shared the silver medal with Dallas Wise of the USA.
- Nishad claimed a Bronze medal in the same category in the 2019 World Para Athletics championship.
- He also got a Gold medal in the 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix that was held in Dubai.
- Despite his performances, no awards for him as yet.
8. Yogesh Kathuniya
Yogesh Kathuniya won the silver medal in the men’s discus throw event. He threw the discus to the distance of 44.38 m and clinched the silver medal.
- He had set a world record by throwing the disc to 45.18 m in the World para-athletics European Championships held in Berlin in 2018.
9. Devendra Jhajhariya
He is probably one of the most senior in the Indian contingent and one of the most decorated Paralympian athletes of India.
Devendra won the silver medal in Javelin throw even in the Tokyo Paralympics.
He is also the first Paralympic to win two gold medals and the only Paralympian other than Joginder Singh Bedi to win 3 medals in the Paralympics.
- Gold medal in FESPIC games in South Korea in 2002
- Another Gold medal in 2004 Athen Paralympics
- Gold medal in IPC athletics world championships in Lyon, France in 2013
- Silver medal in 2014 Asian Para Games in South Korea
- Gold medal in 2016 IPC Athletics Asia-Oceania Championship in Dubai
- Gold medal in 2016 Rio Paralympics
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2017
- FICCI Para sportsperson of the year in 2014
- First Paralympian to get Padma Shri in 2012
- Arjuna award in 2004
10. Mariyappan Thangavelu
Thangavelu got the Silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in the high jump T42 category event. He also clinched the Gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
- Gold medal in Rio Paralympics
- Bronze medal in 2019 World Para Athletics
- Padma Shri in 2017
- Arjuna award in 2017
- Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2020
11. Praveen Kumar
Praveen Kumar got the Silver medal in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in the high jump T64 category event. It is important to note that this event is different from the one in which Thangavelu competed (that one is the T42 category event).
- No other notable performance in any other competition
- Hopefully, awards will follow for him as well.
12. Singaraja Adhana
Singaraja Adhana, famously known as Singhraj, got 2 medals in the Tokyo Paralympics.
He got the silver medal in the Mixed 50m pistol SH1 and bronze in P1 10 meter air pistol SH1 in the Tokyo Paralympics.
- Gold medal in Chateauroux world cup 2018 in France
- Bronze medal in Para Asian Games Jakarta in 2018
- Gold medal in team event and Silver medal in an individual event at AI Ain world cup UAE in 2019
- 2 Gold medals and 2 Bronze medals in Osijek world cup 2019
- Bronze medal in Sydney World Championship 2019
- 1 Gold, 1 Silver & 1 Bronze medal in Al Ain world cup 2021 held in UAE
- Hopefully, awards will follow for him as well.
13. Suhas Yathiraj
Can you believe, Suhas is an IAS officer of the 2007 batch? He is currently ranked world number 2 in Men’s singles in para-badminton and won a Silver medal in the Sl-4 category in Tokyo Paralympics 2021.
He is presently serving as District Magistrate of Gautam Buddha Nagar Uttar Pradesh.
- Yash Bharti, highest civilian honour of UP
14. Sundar Singh Gurjar
Sundar Singh Gurjar is a one-man army as he has participated in Javelin throw, shot put and discus throw in different championships. He won a Bronze medal in the men’s javelin F46 event.
- In the FAZAA IPC Athletics Grand Prix held in Dubai in 2017, Sundar won Gold in all three events – Javelin throw, Discus throw and shot put. He won a gold medal in Javelin throw in 2016 in the same championship
- In the Asian Para Games held in Indonesia in 2018, he won a Silver medal in Javelin throw and a Bronze medal in the Discus throw.
- He also won a Gold medal in the IPC world championships.
- Arjuna Award for para-athletics.
15. Sharad Kumar
Sharad Kumar participated in para high jump event and got home a Bronze medal for India.
- Gold medal in Asian para games held in 2014(South Korea) & 2018 (Indonesia)
- Silver medal in IPC world championships held in London in 2017
- No awards yet
16. Harvinder Singh
Harvinder Singh won the Bronze medal in men’s singles curve archery at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Interestingly, this is the first-ever medal for India in archery.
17. Manoj Sarkar
Manoj Sarkar got home a Bronze medal in Men’s Single para-badminton
- In the World championships singles event, Manoj got the Bronze medal in 2015 and 2019 and Silver in 2017.
- In the World championships double event, he got a Gold medal in 2013, 2015 and 2019.
- Arjuna Award in 2018
If you ever think, your life has been tough or it has put you against odds, just pick out the story of any of the above Paralympic athletes. While we were reading about them, their journey filled us with hope, courage and motivation.
I love this quote that I read about Paralympians –
“What I learned was that these athletes were not disabled, they were super-abled. The Olympics is where heroes are made. The Paralympics is where heroes come.”
So to anyone who feels that life has hit them to rock bottom, I will always suggest just going through the journey of any paralympic athlete. Because every paralympic athlete’s story will tell you that hitting rock bottom doesn’t mean that you need to stay there.
The other important thing is to award and reward these champions as they have achieved such enormous feet this time. We have always dreamt of India becoming a superpower in sports as well. And trust me, a little sunshine can be seen in the performance of athletes in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Our eyes are soaring with pride while jotting all these performances. And what could have been a better way than sharing this mutual feeling with you. Thank You for reading this through.
The blog is a continuation step towards our effort of popularizing the Athletes and their super contribution to Indian Sports. Let’s take a leaf out from the motivational life of our Paralympic Athletes and get inspired by their inspirational achievements.
And just before we wind up, a big thanks to the Government of India for their full support through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme “TOPS” scheme, the coaches and foundations like GoSports foundation etc. who have provided all the needed support to these athletes.
PS: If you love the post and like our work, please do viral this by sharing it among your friends and families.
See you next with another post! Until then…
Keep reading! Keep sharing!