Just like the Tokyo Olympics, Tokyo Paralympics 2020 will also be the one to remember for years as the athletes from India put their best performance ever during the event. They won a record-breaking total of ten medals at the Paralympics this year. Their previous best performance was in 2016 where they managed to get a total of four medals.
We witnessed several history-making moments at the Paralympics this year as the medal haul for India touched the double-figure for the very first time. Indian athletes managed to get a total of two gold, three silver, and five bronze medals. So, below is a quick look at all the ten athletes who made India proud at Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
1: Avani Lekhara (Shooting)
Avani Lekhara, a 19-year-old woman, created history by becoming the first Indian woman ever to win a gold medal at the Paralympics. She had an impressive score of 149.6 in the deciding event of women’s 10m standing air rifle. With this performance, Avni Lekhara equaled the world record and has also set a new Paralympic record. Also, before Avni, only three Indian athletes won gold medals at the Paralympics.
2: Bhavinaben Patel (Table Tennis)
Bhavinaben Patel was the first one to win a medal for India this year. She won a silver medal at the Tokyo Paralympics and became the second woman to achieve this feat. In the women’s table tennis finals, she lost to Chinese paddler Ying Zhou with a score of 7-11, 5-11, 6-11. Bhavina was diagnosed with polio when she was only twelve months old.
3: Sumit Antil (Javelin Throw)
A gold medal in Javelin Throw sounds quite familiar, right? However, this time it was Sumit Antil who achieved this feat for India. He was the only athlete, along with Avani Lekhara, who won Gold for India at Tokyo Paralympics 2021. With this performance, Sumit Antil also shattered the men’s F64 category world record several times. In the end, he set a new record of 68.55m
4: Devendra Jhajaria (Javelin Throw)
Two-time gold medal-winning athlete Devendra Jhajaria had to satisfy himself with a Silver medal this time. It was his third Paralympic medal, and he got it by setting a new personal record. Devendra bagged this medal at the F46 men’s Javelin Throw to made India proud for the third consecutive time.
5: Yogesh Kathuniya (Discus Throw)
Yogesh Kathuniya won the silver medal at the men’s F56 discus throw event. In the finals, he reached a distance of 44.38 meters. He was only behind Brazil’s Claudiney Batista dos Santo who managed to set a new Paralympic record of 45.59m. Kathuniya suffered a paralytic attack when he was only eight years old. However, that wasn’t able to stop him from reaching his goals.
6: Nishad Kumar (High Jump)
Nishad Jump literally jumped really high at Tokyo Paralympics 2020 and grabbed a silver medal for India. He won this prize in the men’s high jump T47 event. With this win, he also made an Asian record of 2.06m. However, he wasn’t the only one who won the silver medal at this event, as he shared it with an American athlete Dallas White.
7: Mariyappan Thangavelu (High Jump)
Not only T47, but India won a silver medal at the T42 men’s high jump event as well. Mariyappan Thangavelu was the defending champion as he won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. However, this time he had to satisfy himself with a silver medal. Mariyappan has suffered a permanent disability at the age of five.
8: Sharad Kumar (High Jump)
T42 men’s high jump brought a double treat for India. Sharad Kumar bagged the bronze medal with a jump of 1.83m. After winning the medal, he revealed that he got injured the night before his final jump. He landed on his meniscus, and that was dislocated. Sharad even thought that he wouldn’t be able to participate and end up winning the bronze at Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
9: Sundar Singh Gurjar
Men’s Javelin throw F46 was also a double delight for India. Along with Devendra, Sundar Singh Gurjar also won a medal at this event. He grabbed the bronze medal with his best effort of 64.01m. Sundar used to compete in the general category till 2015. However, then he met an accident, and then he began to participate in the F46 javelin throw event.
10: Singhraj Adhana (Bronze)
Singhraj Adhana won the bronze medal in P1 men’s air pistol shooting. It was India’s second medal in shooting. He shot a total of 216.8 points to win the gold medal. The 39-year-year old athlete qualified as the sixth-best shooter for the eight-man finals and then ended up finishing in third place won the bronze for India at Tokyo Paralympics 2020.