While India had been waiting for an Olympic medal in athletics for many years till Neeraj Chopra's incredible golden moment in Tokyo, they have had many unheralded medal winners in para-athletics over the years. Many may be surprised to know that Para-athletics has been India's most successful sport at the Paralympics. Over the years, India has won 10 medals in Para-athletics, including 3 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze.
India has also won 1 medal each in swimming and powerlifting at the Paralympics. The medal India has won at swimming is of the yellow colour, while in powerlifting it is brown. So, in total, India has won a total of 12 medals across all sports in their Paralympics history.
Here is a more detailed list of all the medals India have won at the Paralympics:
1972 Heidelberg games
India's first Paralympic medal came in the 1972 games in Heidelberg. This was the second Paralympics India participated in after the 1968 Tel Aviv games. The medal India won was a gold by Murlikant Petkar in the Men's 50-metre freestyle 3 swimming event.
1984 New York/ Stoke Mandeville games
After the early success in 1972, India had to wait twelve years to win their next Paralympics medal. The wait, however, was worth it as they bagged four medals at the 1984 games; and all four came in athletics. Three of the four medals were won by the incredible Joginder Singh Bedi. He won a silver medal in the men's shot put L6. He also won a bronze each in the Javelin L6 and the Discus throw L6. The other medal India won was a silver by Bhimrao Kesarkar in the men's Javelin L6.
India then had to wait for 20 years until Athens to get on the podium at the Paralympics. The country won its second-ever gold medal through Devendra Jhajharia in the men's Javelin F44/46. The other medal India bagged was a bronze by Rajinder Singh Rahelu in powerlifting in the men's 56kg category.
India clinched one medal at the London games - a silver medal by Girisha Nagarajegowda in the men's high jump F42.
2016 Rio de Janeiro
Devendra Jhajharia became the most successful Indian Paralympian of all time by winning a second gold medal in the Javelin F46. This was after he was not able to compete at the Bejing and London games because his category was not a part of the Games. India also had its first female medal winner in Paralympic history as Deepa Malik bagged bronze in Shot Put F53. India also bagged a second gold medal via Mariyappan Thangavelu in the men's high jump F42, while Varun Singh Bhati won the bronze in high jump F42 to cap off India's best-ever performance at the Paralympics.