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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

A Ph.D in Economics, Harvinder Singh wins historic medal at Tokyo Paralympics

From training in the heat to rummaging through books in the cold of an air-conditioner, archer Harvinder Singh scripts history in Tokyo.

Harvinder Singh

Harvinder Singh won India's first-ever medal in Archery (Source: SAI)


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 3 Sep 2021 1:51 PM GMT

Indian para-archer Harvinder Singh wrote his name in history as he became the first Paralympian from the country to win an archery medal at the games. He defeated South Korea's Kim Min Su in a closely contested match to clinch the bronze medal, increasing India's tally at the Tokyo Paralympics to a historic 13 medals at the games.

Singh's love story with archery dates back to the year 2012. He was pursuing a doctorate degree in economics when he chanced upon the coverage of the London Olympics. Without wasting any time, he jumped into the range to try his hand at the sport. While endless sessions at the range and sleepless nights in college was a hard balance to maintain, Harvinder was determined enough to succeed in both.

Not one to let education take a back seat, the student inside Harvinder was busy with this thesis synopsis back in 2018, only weeks before the prestigious Asian Para Games. Unfortunately, just days before the tournament, the athlete's mother passed away. This dealt a blow to his mental state and naturally, he wasn't keen on taking part. After much persuasion on the coach's part, he did take part and wowed everyone with his gold-winning performance.

His eyes set on Paralympics glory, the onset of Covid did not help his aspirations much. But Singh's father came to the rescue when he transformed their farm into a shooting range, only so that training was never hampered.

His training at the farm paid off as the economics scholar from Punjab University came out victorious in that bronze-medal match in the Men's Individual Recurve event. The 30-year old will now be keen on continuing with his studies as well as giving an equal amount of attention to the sport as he aims for further success in the future.

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