The state of Haryana once again showcased its sporting prowess, emerging as the table-toppers in the inaugural edition of the Khelo India Para Games 2023. The 7-day sporting event which took place across three venues in New Delhi successfully culminated on Sunday with Haryana earning a whopping 105 medals, the highest among all states. The athletes from the Northern state earned 40 Gold, 39 Silver, and 26 Bronze medals.
Over 1,400 athletes competed at the Games across seven disciplines - athletics, shooting, archery, football, badminton, table tennis, and powerlifting. Haryana fielded a total of 213 para athletes at the Games, the maximum among all states.
In Shooting, Manish Narwal continued his string of medal wins at Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range, as he claimed a Gold medal in Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1. The 21-year-old shooter, who won the Gold medal in P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 with a Paralympic record score of 218.2 in Tokyo, and a Bronze medal in Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 at the 2023 Para Asian Games, scored a total score of 240.2 to win the yellow medal in the inaugural edition of Khelo India Para Games. Manish, who has had infirmity in his right hand since birth, surpassed his Gold-medal winning score of 239.7 in the same category which he had achieved at the Lima 2023 World Shooting Para Sport Championships.
In table tennis, Haryana's Sandeep Dangi, who had claimed a bronze medal at the Para Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, continued his form at the Khelo India Para Games, winning a Bronze medal in the Class 1 category of table tennis. The 36-year-old M Tech graduate was left 90 percent paralysed after a near-fatal car accident in 2016, after which he started competing in Table Tennis Class 1 event, which is meant for athletes in wheelchairs with severe reduction of function in the playing arm. Sandeep's unwavering spirit and dedication have been a source of inspiration for many and he was applauded by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Pranav Soorma won the Gold medal in the Men's Club Throw F51 category, improving upon the Asian record score of 31.09m set by Dharmabir last year. The Asian Para Games 2023 Gold medalist Pranav threw a distance of a whopping 33.54m, improving upon his Gold medal-winning score of 30.01m, which he had achieved in Hangzhou.
Another athlete from Haryana who grabbed the limelight was Suman Devi of Haryana, who shattered the competition in the elite 55kg Powerlifting event, as she won the Gold medal with a best effort of 87kg, 17 kg more than the second-placed athlete in the event.