The Khelo India Para Games 2023, hosted across seven venues in Delhi, gave rise to many future stars in different sports from different states in India. One state that performed well was Rajasthan, who bagged 43 medals, including 10 golds, 20 silver and 13 bronze. They finished sixth on the medals table, just above Punjab (7th with 20 medals — 8 gold, 2 silver, 10 bronze) and Delhi (8th with 36 medals — 7 gold, 10 silver, 19 bronze). Haryana finished on top with 105 medals while Uttar Pradesh were second best with 62.
One of the star performers for Rajasthan was Jeetu Kanwar, who won the Bronze medal in the 100m T35 Class. Jeetu, who was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, finished with a timing of 23.81 seconds, below Preeti Pal (Uttar Pradesh, 15.65 seconds) and Avani (Haryana, 21.68 seconds). Previously, the sprinter won multiple laurels at the National Para Athletics Championships in different events like the 100m, 200m and long jump.
Apart from her career in sports, Jeetu is also pursuing her PhD in Public Health at the Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi.
Punjab also had multiple medal winners in their ranks and one star who performed well was Parmjeet Kumar, who secured the yellow medal with a more-than-impressive lift of 150kg in the Elite 49kg category in powerlifting. He finished above Dilipkumar Shukla of Gujarat (121 kg) and Bhammar Maya Bhai Loma bhai, also of Gujarat (105 kg).
His victorious lifts came after Parmjeet created history after becoming the first Indian to win gold at the Senior Worlds after he emerged victorious in the men’s - 49kg Total event at the Dubai 2023 World Para Powerlifting Championships with a total lift of 462 kg (150, 155, and 157 kg). He has previously won bronze at the same event in 2021.
Delhi's Sakshi Kasana won two medals in different athletic events — Silver in Javelin Throw and Gold in Discus Throw. This comes after the star para-athlete led Team India to the bronze medal in the women's Discus Throw event at the Asian Para Games with a throw of 22.06m. Kasana, who has been in a wheelchair since a spine injury following an accident in 2017, has also won the silver medal in the F51/53/55 Discus Throw event at the 2022 World Para Athletics Grand Prix in Tunisia.