The scintillating performances by the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympic Games are remarkable. On Day 10, India added two more medals to the tally, making it 12 medals for the nation. India’s young Para high jumper Praveen Kumar clinched the silver medal in the men’s high jump T64 event in which he set a new Asian record of 2.07m. Just after Praveen’s result, Tokyo Paralympics Gold medalist, Avani Lekhara claimed her 2nd medal of the competition.
Silver in the Maiden Paralympics by Praveen
The 18-year-old Kumar hails from Noida, New Delhi. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics was his maiden Paralympic and achieving such a feat at such small age is just extraordinary. The Asian record of 2.07m, earned Kumar the podium finish just behind Great Britain’s Jonathan Broom-Edwards, who notched up his season’s best of 2.10m for the gold.
Indian para High Jumper was one of the 22 Para athletes who had qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics when the COVID-19 pandemic struck the world. The covid pandemic was a stressful condition for athletes across the globe and it also postpones the Olympics and Paralympics. Kumar also struggled during the pandemic due to inadequate training and was unable to seek guidance from his coaches.
Kumar missed the bronze at the 2019 Junior World Para Athletics Championships with a touching distance. As he finished fourth in the men’s high jump T64 final where he cleared 1.92m. The fourth palace finish earned him the Paralympic quota and from there he made history by winning a silver at Tokyo.
Avani scripts history by winning 2 medals at Tokyo
Young Indian ace shooter Avani Lekhara won a bronze in the R8 women’s 50m rifle 3 Position SH1 event with a score of 445.9 in the finals. Earlier, the 19-year old scripted history by winning a Gold in the R-2 women’s 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1 event. With this, she is the first woman to win two medals at the paralympic stage.
Before this only one athlete had won more than 2 medals at the Paralympic games. Joginder Singh Bedi had won a maximum of three medals in Olympic or Paralympic Games for India. Bedi won a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Los Angeles Paralympic Games. Bedi won silver medals in the shot put event, while bronze medals in discus and javelin throw.
A Golden effort by Indian Contingent
India has been remarkable in Tokyo as till now, Indian has managed to clinch 12 medals which is equivalent to medals from 1968 to 2016 Paralympics. This growth is just magical and the medal tally might go up. As on Day 10, five Para Shuttler made it to the semis and one para archer is still in a hunt for a medal.