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Tokyo 2020 Paralympics

Tokyo Paralympics: India has the best record in Paralympics among the SAARC nations

The country won more medals than all the other SAARC nations combined at the Rio Paralympics

Devendra Jhajharia, Deepa Malik, and Mariyappan Thangavelu

Devendra Jhajharia, Deepa Malik, and Mariyappan Thangavelu (Source: SAI)


Manish Sharma

Updated: 25 Aug 2021 2:16 PM GMT

After the shenanigans of the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics, all eyes will turn towards the on-ground action as the nations will be looking for supremacy in the medals table over the next two weeks. The Indian contingent, which was led by Javelin Thrower Tek Chand during the opening ceremony, will also be looking to make a mark at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. India would be looking to build on its successful outing in Rio 2016, where the country won four medals.

While India still has a long way to go in the Paralympics to consider itself as one of the top dogs, it certainly has the best record in the Games among the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.

Best of SAARC over the years

During the Rio 2016 Paralympics, there were only three countries (India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) of the SAARC members that participated in the games. Of the three countries, India had the best record winning four medals (2 gold, 1 silver, and 1 bronze). On the other hand, both Pakistan and Sri Lanka won one bronze medal each. In the 2012 edition of the games, India managed to clinch a solitary silver medal while Sri Lanka, the only other SAARC member at the Paralympics, won one bronze medal.

India didn't compete in the 2008 Paralympics but in the 2004 edition it was the only country from the SAARC members to compete at the games and won two medals (1 gold and 1 bronze)

Massive hope for Tokyo

India has been a dominant figure at the Paralympic Games among the SAARC members, and it looks like that the trend will follow at the Tokyo Paralympics as well. India's contingent of 54 athletes at the games is three times more than all the other SAARC countries combined.

Whereas the likes of Bhutan, Nepal, Maldives (debut at the Paralympics Games for the three countries), along with Pakistan and Sri Lanka have a total contingent of 17 athletes.

There's massive hope from the Indian contingent to not only improve its performance from Rio 2016 but also try and achieve double digits in the medal tally for the first time in its history.

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