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Para Sports

Long Queue, Happy faces, First-time classification — Medical camp before 20th National Para Athletics Championships

The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), on Sunday, hosted a medical classification camp ahead of the 20th National Para Athletics Championships.

National Para Athletics Championships 2022 is being held at Bhubaneshwar

National Para Athletics Championships 2022 is being held at Bhubaneshwar


Abhijit Nair

Published: 27 March 2022 3:07 PM GMT

Medical classification of sportspersons according to their extent of disabilities is the core essence of Para Sports. The category which the athletes are allotted after the inspection from the medical officials goes a long way in what the future holds for them in their event.

Hosting one such medical classification camp on Sunday was the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) ahead of the 20th National Para Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.

Held at the Kalinga Institute Industrial Technology (KIIT University), the camp saw the athletes from across the country flocking down to get their classification done – scores of them for the first time, before the National Championships gets underway on Monday.

"I just got classified in the F-56 category. This is the third time I have been classified, having competed in national-level events before," says an excited Chandrakumar from Karnataka to The Bridge.

Karnataka's Chandrakumar will be seen competing in F56 Shotput and Discus Throw (Aniket/The Bridge)

An athlete who specialises in seating shotput and discus throw, Chandrakumar used to compete in the F-54 category until now.

While Chandrakumar was one of the lucky few to have managed to get done with his classification procedure early on in the day, quite a few others had to wait for a long time with the swarm of athletes increasing by the minute at the King's Palace 15 of KIIT University.

Athletes waiting for their classification turn (Abhijit/The Bridge)

Geeta Chouhan, a wheelchair racer from Maharashtra, had to wait close to two hours to get her classification done but maintained that it was good to see so many disabled people eager to take up para-sports.

"I had to wait for almost two hours to get my classification done. But it doesn't matter, I am happy to see so many disabled people enthusiastic to take up para-sports," she said.

This was the first-ever para-athletics classification for Geeta, who has previously represented India in wheel-chair basketball.

"I got drawn towards wheel-chair racing in 2018. The path towards athletics has been a long time coming. The classification process was not much different from the experience I have had in basketball. Though I had to wait for long, the medical officials were quick with what they had to do. I was in and out of the cabin in just a few minutes," said the track athlete, who will be seen competing in the T-54 category.

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