Tokyo. Shooter Manish Narwal with Paralympic record and badminton player Pramod Bhagat won gold medals due to his excellent game. With this, India’s medal tally reached 17 with a memorable performance of four medals at the Tokyo Paralympics on Saturday. World record holder 19-year-old Narwal won the yellow medal in his very first games by scoring 218.2 in the P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 event.
Defending world champion Bhagat won a historic gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 category by defeating Britain’s Daniel Bethel in the final. India moved up to 26th position in the table with 17 medals in these Games with four gold, seven silver and six bronze. There is only one more day left.
India had won only four medals in the last Rio edition. India took part in the Paralympics for the first time in 1972, since then till the last stage, India had a total of 12 medals in its bag. More medals are yet to come for India with shuttlers Suhas Yathiraj (SL4) and Krishna Nagar (SS6) competing in the men’s singles final. Tarun Dhillon suffered a defeat in the semi-finals, which is in the hunt for the bronze medal. Bhagat and his partner Palak Kohli will play in the bronze medal playoff in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 category.
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Narwal took India’s third gold medal with a Paralympic record, while Sinhraj Adana won the silver, securing the top two places in the P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 event. The world record of this class is also in the name of Narwal. Narwal was fond of sports since childhood and wanted to become a footballer. He could not fulfill his dream due to disorder in his right hand. His father, wrestler Dilbagh, tried his best that his son’s dreams were not broken due to being a disabled person.
Narwal’s family took him to the shooting range of coach Rakesh Thakur in 2016 and he was immediately drawn to the sport. He continued to practice regularly but at that time he did not know about Paralympic Games. Coach Jaiprakash Nautiyal recognized his talent and he won the individual gold in the P1 Air Pistol SH1 event at the 2017 Bangkok World Cup.
At the same time, 39-year-old Adana, who won bronze in the P1 Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 event on Tuesday, won the silver medal by scoring 216.7 points. With this, Adana became one of the few players to win two medals in the same Games. Shooters Avani Lekhara and Joginder Singh Sodhi are the players to have won multiple medals in the same Paralympics. Lekhara has won a gold and a bronze medal in the ongoing Games while Sodhi won a silver and two bronze at the 1984 Paralympics.
Also read, Paralympics: Manish created history by winning gold, silver came in Sinharaj’s part
Badminton is making its debut at the Paralympic Games this year. Bhagat, the world number-1 player, thus became the first Indian to win a gold medal in the sport. World number one Bhagat defeated Britain’s Daniel Bethel in the final while Manoj Sarkar defeated Daisuke Fujihara of Japan in the third place playoff to win the bronze. Both players won in straight games.
In the SL3 category, players who have a leg deformity are allowed to participate. Top seed Indian and Asian champion Bhagat defeated second seed Bethel 21-14, 21-17 in a thrilling 45-minute final at the Yoyogi National Stadium. After winning India’s fourth gold medal in Tokyo Games, Bhagat said, ‘It is very special for me, the dream has come true. Bethel tried a lot but I stayed calm and played my best. I would like to dedicate this medal to my parents and everyone who supported me. I am happy that I could make India proud.
The 33-year-old from Odisha is currently in the race for a bronze medal in the mixed doubles SL3-SU5 category. Bhagat and his partner Palak will take on Japan’s Daisuke Fujihara and Akiko Sugino in the bronze medal playoff. In the SL3-SU5 category, the pair of Bhagat and Palak lost 3-21, 15-21 to Harry Susanto and Liene Ratri Aktila of Indonesia in the semi-finals.
At the age of four, his left leg was deformed due to polio. He has won 45 international medals including four gold at the World Championships. He won two gold and one silver in the last eight years at the BWF World Championships. In the 2018 Para Asian Games, he won one gold and one bronze.
In the year 2019, he was awarded the Arjuna Award and the Biju Patnaik Award.
At the same time, when 31-year-old Sarkar was one year old, he was suffering from polio. He showed great spirit against Fujihara to win 22-20 21-13. He lost to Bethel of Britain 8-21, 10-21 in the semi-finals of the men’s singles SL3 category. Sarkar started playing badminton at the age of five but it was only after a victory against his elder brothers that he became passionate about the game after which he started playing seriously. He played in inter-school competition against capable players after which he started playing in para badminton in 2011.
He won the gold medal in SL3 singles at the 2016 Asian Championship in Beijing. In 2018 he received the Arjuna Award. In the SL4 class, Suhas defeated Freddy Setiawan of Indonesia 21-9, 21-15 in 31 minutes. He will now face top seed Lucas Mazur of France. Suhas, 38, from Karnataka has a disorder in his ankles. Suhas, who has achieved many achievements inside and outside the court, is a computer engineer and also an administrative officer. He has been the District Magistrate of Noida since 2020 and has led from the front in the war against the Corona epidemic.
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Suhas won the men’s singles and doubles gold at the 2017 BWF Turkey Para Badminton Championships. Apart from this, he won gold in 2016 Asia Championships and bronze medal in 2018 Para Asian Games. Second seed Nagar defeated Britain’s Christine Coombs 21-10, 21-11 in the SH6 class semi-finals. Now he will face Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kei.
The 22-year-old Nagar started playing only four years ago. He won silver in Para Asian Games and bronze in singles and silver in doubles at World Championship 2019. In the second SL4 semi-final, Mazur defeated second seed Indian player Dhillon 21-16, 16-21, 21-18 in a close contest. Dhillon, 27, from Hisar will face Setiawan for the bronze medal. In the men’s F41 javelin throw event, India’s Navdeep finished fourth with a best throw of 40.80m.
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