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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

India's shooting team's performance at the Tokyo Paralympics is redemption from Olympics

Having won five medals already, the Indian shooters will be in action on the final day as well of the Tokyo Paralympics

Indian shootersTokyo Paralympics

Indian shooters have so far won five medals at the Tokyo Paralympics


Manish Sharma

Updated: 4 Sep 2021 8:00 AM GMT

First Avani Lekhara, then Singhraj Adhana, and now Manish Narwal, the Indian shooting contingent continues to show their mettle at the Tokyo Paralympics as Manish Narwal and Singhraj Adana won the gold and silver medal respectively in the Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 category, which took India's overall medal tally to fifteen and five in Shooting.

When the likes of Saurabh Choudhary, Manu Bhaker, Elavenil Valarivan, Apurvi Chandela, etc. and many others failed to live up to their own lofty standards at the Tokyo Olympics, there was a growing feeling in the country that it'll take a long time before we get yet another Bindra-Esque moment at the Olympic Games. Disappointment would be an understatement to describe the feeling after looking at the performance of the Indian shooting contingent, as the 15 athletes that competed in 10 different categories failed to win even a single medal. In the fallout, there were many questions raised with regards to selection and whether Indian shooters have the mental strength to fight expectations and win medals at the biggest stage of all.

It's been less than a month since the end of the Olympic Games and that feeling of disappointment and hurt has somewhat turned into redemption thanks to the Indian shooters who are setting new milestones at the Tokyo Paralympics. After 13 years, India did have an Abhinav Bindra moment in shooting when 19-year-old Avani Lekhara won the gold in the Women's 10M Air Rifle Standing category. It was then the turn of Singhraj Adhana who went on to win the bronze in the Men's 10M Air Pistol SH1 event.

Avani Lekhara then once again decided to amaze the 1.3 billion Indians by winning a bronze medal, this time in the Women's 50m Rifle 3 Position SH1 category. In the process, she also became the first-ever Indian woman to win multiple medals at the same Paralympics or Olympics. At this moment, it felt like that the wounds which were inflicted a couple of weeks ago had finally started to heal.

It was now the turn of a certain Manish Narwal to join in the party and on Day 11 and he did just that by winning the gold in the Mixed 10m Pistol SH1 event. The victory was even more fruitful as the 19-year-old was joined by Singhraj Adhana in the celebrations who won the silver in the same event. It was a sight to behold for the Indian fans with two shooters on the podium together, something that the country wanted to see at the Summer Olympics as well, as the Indian national anthem was played for the third time at the Tokyo Paralympics.

To put it in perspective in terms of how great the Indian shooters have been at the Tokyo Paralympics, India won the two medals in shooting at the London Olympics thanks to the likes of Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar, whereas at the Paralympics two of its shooters Avani and Singhraj have themselves won two medals each.

With just one more day to go before the 2020 Paralympics comes to an end, it's not all over as gold medallist Avani Lekhara along with fellow shooters Sidhartha Babu and Deepak will be in action on the final day in the Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 event.

Make no mistake there's still a lot of pain and hurt due to the performance in shooting at the 2020 Summer Olympics but the achievements of Indian shooters at the Paralympic Games, so far, have somewhat worked like the perfect medicine.

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