New Delhi: India no.1 recurve para-archer, Harvinder Singh appreciated the first edition of Khelo India Para games and wants more such events shortly at different levels.
Speaking to The Bridge after the ranking rounds of the Para-Archery event at the ongoing Khelo India Para Games, Harvinder of Haryana shared his feelings about the Khelo India initiative.
"This is the first time that Khelo India has introduced a para event and it is a great initiative. If we can make such an event at zonal levels it will be extra special. Many school kids are present here to watch us play, this will inspire them and also many other disabled persons who don't get many opportunities will be motivated to push themselves to play games and will see sports as a career or profession. This will grow the Khelo India games and will provide many more players to India," said Harvinder.
Harvinder has become the first ever archer to win a Paralympics medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where he won a prestigious bronze in the recurve open men category after a dramatic bronze medal match which went off to the shoot off and he took a 6-5 win to earn that medal. He also grabbed a bronze medal at the recently concluded Asian Para Games this year.
"When I was a kid, I went to a stadium to watch an archery event which inspired me to choose this sport, and in 2012 I took it up as a professional career. I watched archery matches at the London Olympics which made me believe that I can also do these things. It's been more than ten years since I started this sport and I have seen lots of ups and downs in this long career to achieve what I have so far and represent my country at the highest levels and also win medals." Harvinder shared his journey from a spectator of the sport to making it to the highest level.
Harvinder expressed his gratitude for the infrastructure of the games.
"This is the first time I am playing on this field and it was quite a good experience. Overall, a very good event because it's the first-ever para games," Harvinder said.
He is looking for his second Paralympics medal at the Paris games in 2024 for which he already won one quota place for India in recurve men category.
"I won a quota for the Paris Paralympics but that goes to the Indian NOC, so we will have many trials to determine who will go there and represent India. I hope we will get that second quota which will help us put two players in my category. I'm working on my preparation but this will be tough to get this place as all top players will be fighting hard for this one spot," he concluded.