Tokyo Paralympics 2020: Indian para athletes keep track of their best performances in Tokyo Paralympics 2020: 4500 athletes from 163 countries will try their luck in 540 events of 22 sports, the best performance for India
- India hopes to win 15 medals at the Tokyo Paralympics
- Javelin thrower Devendra Zhazaria’s eyes win gold for the third time
- India participated in the Paralympics for the first time in 1972.
After its best performance in the Olympics so far, India is eyeing its best performance in the Paralympic Games starting on Tuesday. The 54-member team is expected to lead the country to a double-digit medal for the first time in this prestigious event.
Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medalist star javelin thrower Devendra Zhazaria and high jump star Mariappan Thangavelu will lead India’s largest ever squad. India is expecting at least 15 medals, including five golds, in the Games.
Because of the corona, many countries decided to withdraw
Due to the Kovid-1 pandemic epidemic, the Paralympics are being held amid tight safety and health regulations. India will compete in nine games in the Paralympics. However, some countries decided to withdraw from the Paralympics due to the epidemic.
It would not be unreasonable to expect unprecedented success from Indian players as at least four Indians are ranked first in the world while six players are ranked second in the world. Also the world ranking of three out of 10 players is three.
India have won 12 medals so far
India participated in the Paralympics for the first time in 1972 and has since won a total of 12 medals in the Games. If India succeeds as expected, it could be in the top 25 of the medal tally this time around. At the 2016 Rio Paralympics, India finished 43rd with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
The government has provided adequate facilities to the para players and many players are practicing in the facilities of the Sports Authority of India in different parts of the country. In such a scenario, the success of the Olympics, which took place on August 8, is expected to be carried forward by para athletes.
Devendra Zhazaria is looking for a golden hat trick
Zazaria, who lost his left arm due to an electric shock as a child, is a strong contender for a hat-trick of gold medals at the age of 40. He has won gold medals in the F-46 category in 2004 and 2016 and is currently the world record holder.
Mariappan will be the flag bearer of India
Mariappan, who became permanently disabled at the age of five after being crushed by a bus below the knee, is another Indian para player who will go down to defend the gold medal he won in the T-63 high jump in 2016. He is currently the second highest ranked player in the world.
He will also be the country’s flag bearer at the inauguration ceremony on Tuesday. World champion Sandeep Chaudhary (F-64 javelin thrower) is the third gold medal contender in the 24-member para athletics team. He is a world number one player and a world record holder.
Other medal contenders in Para Athletics Athletics are world champions Sundar Singh Gurjar and Ajit Singh (both F-46) and Navdeep Singh (F-41). All three are spear throwers. The Indian Paralympic Committee expects at least 10 medals from para athletes.
Para players are placed in different categories according to the type and extent of their disability. This gives them the opportunity to compete with players with the same disability.
Badminton will make its Paralympic debut during the Tokyo Games and India has a good chance of winning a medal. World number one and multiple world champion Pramod Bhagat is a strong contender for gold in the men’s SL3 category.
World number two Krishna Nagar (SH6) and Tarun Dhillon (SL4) are also expected to do well. Two-time former world champion Parul Parmar and young Palak Kohli (SL3-SU5) are hoping for medals in the women’s division.
Medal hopes from shooters and archers
India expects medals from its shooters and archers. In archery, India will be represented by Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar (compound), Vivek Chikara and Harvinder Singh (recurve) and women’s archer Jyoti Baliyan (compound individual and mixed event).
Apart from this, Indian athletes will also participate in para canoeing, para swimming, para powerlifting, para table tennis and para taekwondo. Para table tennis players Bhavina Patel and Sonal Patel will start the Indian campaign on August 25. These two are not strong contenders for the medals and so India’s first medal hope is on Friday when the para archery competitions start. India’s medal tally is expected to increase after the start of paralympics on Saturday.
King Naruhito of Japan will announce the start of the Paralympics
King Naruhito of Japan is set to announce the start of the Paralympics. Tokyo and other parts of Japan have enacted stricter health and safety regulations in view of the increase in Kovid-19 cases. Just like the Olympics, only six officials will be allowed to attend the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Tuesday. The Indian squad will have only five players, including flag bearer Mariappan.
In addition, Vinod Kumar of Discus Throw, Tekchand of Javelin Throw and Powerlifters Jaideep and Sakina Khatun will attend the inauguration ceremony. The Indian team will be the 17th team to enter the Olympic Stadium after Iran.
Spectators are not allowed into the stadium
During the Paralympics, spectators like the Olympics will not be allowed to enter the stadium. Organizers, however, are trying to allow children to enter the stadium in some places. Around 4,500 athletes from 163 countries will compete in 540 events in 22 sports during the Paralympics.
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