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Laurels brought home! Paralympics 2021

- By Dwaipayan, 02 September 2021 | 5 MIN READ


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India's Neeraj Chopra has become sensational after winning gold in Javelin's throw with best efforts of 87.58 meters in the Tokyo Olympics. The historic feat ensured that India ended the Tokyo Olympics on a golden note. From an Indian perspective, just like the Olympics, the current edition of the Paralympics 2021 in Tokyo will never be forgotten as well.

Having competed in 11 editions of the Paralympic since its inception in 1960, India has won astounding 20 medals, including six gold, eight silver, and six bronze.

A veteran of the 1965 Indo-Pak War, Murlikant Petkar is the first Paralympic medalist of India. Murlikant Petkar, won the gold medal, Swimming, men’s 50m freestyle 3, Heidelberg 1972. The achievements do not end here, Murlikant Petkar won a gold medal at the 1972 Heidelberg Games in the men’s 50m freestyle 3 events. The Indian Para swimmer put a world record of 37.33 seconds to win Gold. Did you know, Murlikant Petkar was a boxer who later switched to swimming after he lost an arm to a bullet injury.

Another brave heart Bhimrao Kesarkar, silver medal, men’s javelin throw L6, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984. The 1984 Paralympics was one of India’s most successful Paralympics co-hosted by Stoke Mandeville, United Kingdom, and New York, USA. Also, Joginder Singh Bedi won the silver medal, men’s shot put L6, Stoke Mandeville & New York 1984.

In the same Paralympics, Joginder Singh Bedi also won a bronze medal in the men’s discus throw L6 event with a throw of 28.16 metres.

In Athens 2004, Devendra Jhajharia, gold medal, men’s javelin throw F44/46. Though India has competed at every Paralympic Games since 1984, they had to wait till the 2004 Paralympics in Athens for the next medallist. Devendra managed a distance of 62.15 meters, which also set the then-world record in the event. In men’s powerlifting 56kg, Athens 2004 Rajinder Singh Rahelu won the bronze medal. Rajinder was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2005. Girish N Gowda, won the only silver medal in men’s high jump F42, London 2012. Girish N Gowda also received the Padma Shri in 2013 and the Arjuna Award a year in 2014.

In 2016, Tamil Nadu’s Mariyappan Thangavelu won a gold medal in the men’s high jump F42 event at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. He jumped 1.89 metres. Varun Singh Bhati, bronze medal, men’s high jump as well. While Devendra Jhajharia, clinched the gold medal, men’s javelin throw F46, Rio 2016

We also saw the only Indian Woman Deepa Malik to win a Paralympics medal. She won a silver medal in the women's shot put F53 event at the 2016 Rio Games after a throw of 4.61m.

For this achievement, Deepa Malik received the Arjuna Award in 2012, the Padma Shri in 2017, and the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2019. Moving to the 2020 para games, Bhavina Patel, silver medal, women's singles table tennis Class 4, Tokyo 2020. Nishad Kumar, silver medal, men’s high jump T47, Tokyo 2020. Avani Lekhara won laurels for India by securing the gold medal in women's 10m air rifle shooting standing SH1, Tokyo 2020

Record-breaker Devendra Jhajharia won his third Paralympic medal with a silver in the men's javelin throw F46 class in Tokyo.

He threw a new personal best of 64.35m in the final, beating his own previous world and Paralympic record of 63.97m. However, Sri Lankan Dinesh Herath eclipsed him with a best throw of 67.79m to take the gold medal.

Sundar Singh Gurjar made it two Indians on the podium in the men's javelin throw F46 category with his bronze medal. He threw a season's best 64.01m in the final. Yogesh Kathuniya, silver medal, men's discus throw F56, Tokyo 2020. Sumit Antil won the gold medal, men's javelin throw F64, Tokyo 2020

Again, we’ve Singhraj Adhana, bronze medal, men's 10m air pistol shooting SH1, Tokyo 2020

The 39-year-old Singhraj Adhana shot 216.8 in the final to finish behind defending champion, China's Chao Yang - who won gold with a Paralympic record 237.9 - and silver-medallist Xing Huang, also of China.

Mariyappan Thangavelu won his second Paralympic medal, a silver in the men's high jump T42 class.

Sharad Kumar - Bronze Medal - men's high jump T42. Joining compatriot Thangavelu on the podium was Sharad Kumar, who won bronze in the men's high jump T42.

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