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Para Sports

Indian shooters laud the mental resilience of Para Athletes

Olympians Manu Bhaker and Anjum Moudgil lauded the determination shown by Para Athletes of the country.

Indian shooters laud the mental resilience of Para Athletes

Manu Bhaker and Anjum Moudgil at the Khelo India Para Games 2023.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 17 Dec 2023 4:44 PM GMT

Olympian shooters Manu Bhaker and Anjum Moudgil lauded the mental resilience shown by the Para Athletes and said that para-athletes were an embodiment of determination and they give able-bodied athletes the added motivation to excel on the international stage, including the Olympics.

Rifle shooter Anjum, pistol exponent Manu, and rapid-fire marksman Anish Bhanwal, who were at the Karni Singh range to give away medals to the Khelo India Para Games winners, felt there were lessons to be learned from the struggles of the specially-abled athletes.

"I am really happy that I got this opportunity to present the medals to Para winners. I look up to them. They are examples of what passion, determination, and not going by excuses are like. I look up to them and it's a privilege to present medals to them today," the Arjuna Awardee, said after the prize distribution ceremony.

Anjum who won the Silver medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in 50m Rifle 3 Positions, further praised the para shooters for their positive mindset and said that she hopes that Indian shooters and para shooters can stand together in Paris.

"I am constantly inspired by each and everything about the para-athletes. They do not make excuses despite all the struggles that they and their family have been through. They are still here each day and they train with us here at Karni Singh Shooting Range. It's so good to see their positivity. It is a motivation for us able-bodied shooters as we prepare for Paris. I am looking forward to Paris and I hope we can share the podium with the Para Shooters," she added.

Meanwhile, Manu Bhaker, who has already earned a quota for the Paris Olympics in the Women's 25m pistol event after finishing fifth at the Asian Shooting Championships 2023 in Changwon, South Korea, explained what makes the para shooters mentally tougher than able-bodied shooters.

"Para athletes are mentally stronger than us because they have more problems to face which they overcome. And then to win a medal for the country is a huge achievement. I find motivation in the same. Whenever I speak to them, I get inspired, and hence, I love to speak with them and train alongside them," the 7-time ISSF World Cup Gold Medal-winning shooter said.

Bhaker further said, "Truly, it is an honor for me to give the medals away to the winners. I am so happy - as these athletes inspire us all to overcome all the obstacles in life."

Anish Bhanwala, who recently became the first Indian shooter since 2012 to attain an Olympic quota in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event, explained how seeing the para-athletes is helping him prepare for Paris.

"I met with all the para-athletes here and they are motivated to perform in Paris next year. They have already started preparing for the same. Despite being physically challenged, they are doing a lot of hard work and training. It's a great environment here at Karni Singh Shooting Range. Their dedication is quite inspiring for us as well and motivates us to do our best," the 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold medalist said.

Anish further summed up how the Khelo India Para Games medal ceremony will help him on the road to Paris. "I am used to standing at the podium and taking medals. Today, I was honored that I was invited to give away the medals to the para shooters. Seeing the medalists, I am truly inspired and now that I have earned an Olympic quota, I will work hard to prepare and be ready for Paris."

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