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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Harvinder Singh took up archery after watching the 2012 Olympics on TV

The Tokyo Paralympics bronze medalist scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Archery at the Paralympics

Harvinder Singh
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Harvinder Singh  (Source: Paralympicindia.org)    

By

Ananth Narasimman

Updated: 2021-09-03T19:27:49+05:30

Harvinder Singh etched his name in the history books by becoming the first Indian to win a medal in Archery at the Paralympics, winning the bronze in the men's individual recurve event on Friday.

The ace archer, hailing from Ajitnagar of Haryana's Kaithal district, went up against South Korea's Su Min Kim and won the match by hitting a 10 in the shoot-off after a tough fight from Su Min in the first three sets.

Harvinder belongs to a family of farmers living in Western Haryana. When he was one and a half years old, he was infected with dengue, after which his family took him to a doctor. A wrongly administered injection had an adverse effect, leading to his legs not working properly.

This incident did not deter him from pursuing his goals, as he eventually went to study at a University, and this is where he first caught a glimpse of archers training. The 2012 London Olympics had a special impact on Harvinder, as he sat in front of the television, mesmerized by the willpower and skill sets of these elite athletes as they competed to be the best. Archery was again something that he kept a keen eye on. Seeing the best in the world perform motivated him to pick up the sport.

It was initially a difficult task to balance academics and practice, but being the workhorse that he is, he somehow managed to find the way to not only do well in academics but also trained hard to become an ace archer.

"It was very difficult. When we have the morning [training] session, I practice on the ground, and then I would go to the library. Because of the air conditioning, the muscles pain a lot, so I usually had to pick up my bag and go to my room without AC and then study. I also had to study many times late in the night, then in the evening session, there will be practice. It is really difficult to manage this but, actually, I like these hurdles. Challenges are just a part of life, and we come to know how strong we are when we face challenges," says Harvinder in an interview with the International Paralympic Committee.

Harvinder Singh has yet again beat the odds to come out on top, just like how he did in the Asian Para Games in 2018, where he won the gold. This will not be the first time you have heard his name nor the last, as the Haryanvi will become a regular fixture on the podium.

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