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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

India reach double-digit medal tally for the first time in Paralympics history

Indian athletes give their best performances to enter the country in history books

Tokyo Paralympics medals

Tokyo Paralympics medals 


Rajdeep Saha

Updated: 31 Aug 2021 3:07 PM GMT

Prior to the TokyoParalympics, numerous pundits and well-wishers were predicting a double-digit medal haul for the country. By just the seventh day of this year's games, the Indian contingent has managed to prove these predictions. It is certainly a historic moment as this is the first time the country's para-athletes have done something like this. To put things into perspective, India had previously won a total of 12 Paralympic medals over the span of 11 editions, since the games' debut in 1960.

The country's Paralympics success had started in the year 1972 when swimmer Murlikant Petkar won gold to give India its first-ever medal at the games. From then, the country could win 11 more medals, thanks to athletes like Devendra Jhajharia, Mariyappan Thangavelu, and Deepa Malik.

The historic medal haul, which still has scope to better itself with each passing day in Tokyo, was kicked off by Bhavina Patel who won the silver medal in table tennis. She became the first paddler to give India its first Paralympics medal in table tennis. Following Patel's medal colour, 22-year-old high jumper Nishad Kumar secured silver in the Men's High Jump T47 event.

The following day, history was made by 19-year old Avani Lekhara who became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics gold medal. Her Paralympic record score was more than enough to secure the top honours.

India's Javelin throwers have stolen the limelight with their three medals, including a gold medal. Veteran Devendra Jhajharia continued his Paralympics success with a silver medal in his category, thereby making him only the second Indian athlete to win multiple Paralympic medals. Sundar Singh Gurjar won the bronze, just behind his compatriot Jhajharia, in the same F46 event. Sumit Antil made the news with his record-breaking throw that earned him the prestigious gold medal.

Another silver was added to India's tally by Yogesh Kathuniya, who won it in the Men's Discus Throw F56 event. A second shooting medal came with Singhraj Adhana's bronze in the Men's 10m Air Pistol Shooting SH1.

The Rio gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu won the silver medal in the Men's High Jump T63 event, after which he joined the list of Indian athletes with more than one Paralympics medal. In the same event, Sharad Kumar won the bronze which fulfilled his long-awaited dream of a medal at a Paralympics.

With many more events to go, India is still hopeful for some more wins, which will only better their wonderful performance at the ongoing games.

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