The Indian para-badminton players justified the favourites tag at the 2019 Denmark Para-Badminton International tournament by clinching a total of 10 medals. India won gold medals in both the men’s and women’s singles finals.
Privileged with a dazzling form, three-time World Champion Parul Parmar won a gold medal in the women’s singles SL3 category, cementing her reputation as a formidable player. Indian para-badminton head coach Gaurav Khanna heaped rich praise on the 46-year-old Parul. Gaurav told Newzhook,
However, India had another reason to smile as Manoj Sarkar brought home a gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 category. It has been a year to remember for the Uttarakhand player who won gold medals in both Thailand and China earlier this year. “I played my natural game in Denmark and that went well for me. I put my injuries and other issues aside to focus on my game and the results are there for all to see. I am grateful to my coach for the faith he has shown in me throughout my problems and I have been able to live up to that faith,” said Manoj.
Coach Khanna believes that India winning at international tournaments is significant, not just to acquire the game points. “The results are a morale booster for future events and we are showing the world that India is going to make a difference in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics”.
“There are some constraints that we have to cross like Sukant was leading against France’s Lucas Mazur but lost in the last game”. Nevertheless, Khanna is confident that the players are close to overcoming the final barrier. Up next is the Japan tournament starting on November 13. The para-badminton players plan to get here early so they get used to the weather and more importantly the venue, as this is also where a Paralympics event will be held. Besides, there will be a week-long camp under the India-Japan Joint Training Coaching Programme.
“This is a segment that we have started especially for Indian Para-Badminton”, explains Khanna. “We will get a chance to train with elite Japanese players and I will be coaching their players. It’s a chance for us to learn the technologies the Japanese are adopting and we will have a few training sessions and plan for future events,” he added.