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Asian Para Games

Asian Para Games: Indian athletes to watch out for

From Javelin sensation Sumit Antil to badminton champion Parul Parmar, these athletes promise to deliver extraordinary performances at the upcoming event.

Asian Para Games: Indian athletes to watch out for

Shourya Mehta

Updated: 18 Oct 2023 2:35 PM GMT

In just a matter of days, the eagerly awaited fourth edition of the Para-Asian Games is set to kick off in Hangzhou, China, running from October 22 to 28.

India is stepping onto the world stage with its most extensive contingent ever, consisting of an impressive 309 members. The excitement in the air is palpable, and expectations are soaring for a remarkable century of medals.

Here are the five Indian athletes to look out for:

Sumit Antil

India's dominance in the world of javelin is nothing short of remarkable, thanks to exceptional athletes like Neeraj Chopra, Kishore Jena, Annu Rani, DP Manu, and the groundbreaking Sumit Antil, a true pioneer in the field of para-sports. Sumit Antil, in particular, has risen to global prominence, securing the titles of Olympic and world para athletics champion in 2023.

Antil's exceptional display of skill at the World Para Athletics Championship in Paris left spectators in awe. Not only did he surpass his world record of 70.17 meters, but he did so with a remarkable throw of 70.83 meters. This outstanding achievement also secured a coveted quota for the 2024 Paris Olympics, putting him in a league of his own. With this outstanding track record, Sumit Antil stands as the undisputed frontrunner in the Javelin Throw - F64 category, making India a formidable force to reckon with in the world of athletics.

Parul Parmar

Parmar, a seasoned 50-year-old badminton player, made history by becoming the first female athlete from India to clinch a gold medal at the Asian Para Games. As a former world number one, she maintains her current ranking of 3rd in both singles and women's doubles. Additionally, she holds the fourth spot in mixed doubles, alongside her partner Raj Kumar.

Parmar's incredible consistency is evident as she has secured a medal in every edition of the Asian Para Games thus far. With an impressive record of 11 world championship medals, she remains undaunted by age constraints and is fervently determined to add yet another medal to her already illustrious collection.

Ekta Bhyan

At 38 years of age, Ekta specializes in the women's club and discus throw events. Her gold medal in the club throw event at the 2018 Asian Para Games is notable. Notably, she is also a Tokyo Olympian, having earned a bronze medal in the Para-athletics championship, which secured her a coveted spot at the Paris Olympics.

Bhyan is a true national champion, boasting an impressive track record of gold medals in 2016, 2017, and 2018 National Para Athletics Championships. With such a history of success and determination, her prospects for clinching a medal in the upcoming Asian Para Games are undeniably promising.

Pramod Bhagat

A renowned former world number one (now holding the second rank), this accomplished shuttler is none other than Bhagat, the gold medalist at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Bhagat's exceptional talent extends to the para-Asian Games, where he earned three well-deserved medals.

Notably, Bhagat is an eight-time world championship medalist, with an impressive five of those medals being gold. With years of experience and unmatched skills, he is poised to make his mark once again. Competing in men's singles, as well as forming formidable partnerships in men's doubles with Sukant Kadam and mixed doubles with the young and promising Manisha Ramadass, Bhagat is a strong contender to bring multiple medals home.

Avani Lekhara

Avani Lekhara, a remarkable Indian Paralympian and accomplished rifle shooter, was born on November 8, 2001. Her extraordinary talents were on full display at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, where she achieved a remarkable feat. Lekhara secured a well-deserved Gold Medal in the intensely competitive 10m air rifle standing event, showcasing her exceptional precision and composure. Additionally, she claimed a Bronze Medal in the demanding 50m rifle three positions event, underscoring her versatility and mastery in the sport.

Notably, Lekhara had previously participated in the 2018 Asian Para Games, where her skills also garnered attention. She has achieved the prestigious distinction of being ranked first in the world in the women's 10m air rifle standing SH1 category, solidifying her status as a global shooting sensation.

Sheetal Devi

At just 16 years old, hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, Sheetal Devi has achieved a remarkable and historic feat. She holds the distinction of being the first lady without arms to secure a medal at the Para World Archery Championships. In 2019, her exceptional talents were discovered by the Army in a remote area of Kishtwar in Jammu, and from that point on, she soared to new heights.

Sheetal Devi's incredible journey reached a pinnacle when she earned a prestigious silver medal at the Para World Archery Championship. Her remarkable achievement at such a young age has thrust her into the global spotlight, where she is now celebrated as a trailblazer in the world of para archery.

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