10 biggest stars to watch out for at Tokyo Paralympics
There are a host of favourites who are sure to wow you with their skills and determination. Let us take a look at some of the stars to watch out for at this year's Tokyo Paralympics.
With the Olympics now in our rearview mirrors, it is time to shift our attention to the Paralympics that is due to be held in Tokyo. With only a day to go for the games, supporters of more than 4,000 athletes will be tuning in to cheer on their champions.
For some, it will be their first time participating at the highest level, while for others, it will be just another day at the office. There are a host of favourites who are sure to wow you with their skills and determination. Let us take a look at some of the stars to watch out for at this year's games.
1. Zahra Nemati (Archery)
The Iranian para-archer epitomises perseverance. An erstwhile taekwondo athlete, she had to shift her passions to something else due to an accident.
She decided to take up archery and she went on to become one of the most renowned para athletes to grace the sport. A proponent for disabled rights and an inspiration to women, Nemati will be looking to add a third Paralympics gold medal to her list of honours.
2. Markus Rehm (Athletics)
Fresh from bettering his previously set world record, with a massive jump of 8.62m in the Men's Long Jump T64, the German long jumper will vie for the gold yet again as he tries to defend his title. It will be interesting to see the limits Rehm pushes himself to in the search of greater feats.
3. Leani Ratri Oktila (Badminton)
With Badminton making its debut in this year's Paralympics, all the signs point towards the Indonesian's success. The shuttler is a three-time Para-badminton World champion, as well as the recipient of three gold medals at the Asian para-games. It wouldn't be surprising at all if we see her end the country's 41-year-old wait for a Paralympics gold this time around.
4. Scott Martlew (Canoe Sprint)
Passionate about sports from a young age, competing at the highest level was always a dream for the New Zealand born athlete. After a rugby-related accident, he took to canoeing and turned his dream into a reality as he debuted in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Now, he looks determined to prove a point to the world, and the two-time world champion will surely see Tokyo as the perfect chance to do so.
5. Carol Cooke (Cycling Road)
Winning gold medals has become second nature to the Australian cycler. As she hopped from swimming to rowing and then to cycling, Cooke realised her dream at the age of 51 when she won her maiden gold at the London Paralympics. Look out for this serial winner as she will look to maintain her perfect record at the Paralympics.
6. Sanne Voets (Equestrian)
She was a last-minute entry to the Dutch team at the Rio games, and the equestrian returned with the country's only gold in the sport at the Paralympics. Voets will hope for a similar experience this time too, as she hopes to achieve another podium finish.
7. Jefinho (Football 5-a-side)
With the Brazilian flair running through his veins, the footballer is a spectacle to witness. His unrivalled dribbling and terrific close-control would make a man question the athlete's blindness.
Jefinho, who was born with glaucoma, became completely blind by age 7. But that didn't stop him from winning gold in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Paralympics. If you see Brazil trailing in a match, don't rule them out just yet.
8. Eduardo Avila Sanchez (Judo)
A veteran of the sport, the three-time Paralympic medal winner is certainly a star to watch out for. Looking to retire with this year's games, Sanchez will hope to end his illustrious career on a high.
9. Rubina Francis (Shooting)
The 22-year old Indian shooter set a world record this year as she bagged gold at the 10m Air Pistol event at the World shooting Para sport cup in Peru. With her love for sports intact, she eyes a podium finish at this year's Paralympics.
10. Jessica Long (Swimming)
Long is one of the most decorated swimmers in the world, with 23 Paralympic medals to her name, 13 out of which are gold. Her impressive resume is testament to the possibility of the swimmer sweeping up most of the honours this time around too.