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Financial hurdles threaten Para Shooter Mona Agarwal's Paralympic ambitions

Despite her gold medal wins, para shooter Mona Agarwal struggles to secure funds for a new wheelchair essential for the Paris Paralympics.

Financial hurdles threaten Para Shooter Mona Agarwals Paralympic ambitions

Mona Agarwal (Photo credit: Indian shooting)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 1 Jun 2024 9:58 AM GMT

Despite her outstanding performance at recent Para-shooting World Cups, champion para shooter Mona Agarwal faces a significant obstacle: securing funds to purchase a new wheelchair for the Paris Paralympic Games as per PTI.

Mona Agarwal, 37, who competes in the 10m air rifle (SH1) category, won gold at the WSPS Para World Cup in New Delhi in March, earning India’s final Paralympic quota. She continued her winning streak with another gold at the Para World Cup in Changwon, Korea, in April. Despite these victories, Mona's success has not resulted in the necessary financial support for her to upgrade her equipment.

The funds from her sponsor, intended to cover her annual expenses, have been exhausted on purchasing a rifle and funding her participation in the Korea competition. Now, she finds herself without the resources to buy a new wheelchair, which she believes is crucial for her performance at the Paralympics.

"I expected to be included in the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) after my win in March, but the process has been delayed," said the Jaipur-based shooter to PTI.

In addition to her achievements in para shooting, Mona has excelled in multiple para sports, including shot put, javelin, discus throw, and powerlifting. She explained to PTI, "My Rs 15 lakh budget for the year was spent on a rifle and competing in Korea. I need about Rs 6 lakh for a new wheelchair."

Mona also dedicates her time to promoting sports among girls, having founded the national para volleyball girls team. She has spent the past three months training at the National Centre of Excellence (NCOE) at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, away from her family.

"My current wheelchair serves both for training and regular use, but it needs an upgrade for top-level competition. The uneven roads at the Karni Singh Range have caused alignment issues," she noted.

Mona emphasized the importance of proper wheel alignment for maintaining stability during practice and competition. She believes that with new equipment and two months of focused training, she can significantly improve her performance and aim for a medal in Paris.

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