At Hangzhou Para Asian Games, Indian Athletes Create History, Bag 111 Medals

India had sent 313 athletes at the Hangzhou Para Asian Games, competing in 17 out of 22 sports and bags 29 gold, 31 silver and 51 bronze medals

Written By: | Edited By: | November 10, 2023 हिन्दी में पढ़े

New Delhi: At the Hangzhou Para Asian Games that took place in the month of October this year, India’s para-athletes made history as they won 100-plus medals. They finished their campaign with a total of 111 medals, the best-ever tally at the Games. The final medal count for India was 29 gold, 31 silver and 51 bronze.

India ended at fifth place in the medals tally, a remarkable achievement, below China (521 medals: 214 gold, 167 silver, 140 bronze), Iran (44 gold, 46 silver, 41 bronze), Japan (42, 49, 59) and Korea (30, 33, 40). In the first Para Asian Games that was held in 2010 in Guangzhou, China, India had finished 15th with 14 medals, including one gold. In the 2014 and 2018 editions, India had finished 15th and ninth respectively. The only instance when India had crossed the 100-medal mark in a major international multi-sport event (Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games) was the 101 medals won during the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.

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India had sent its 303 athletes – 191 men and 112 women – to the fourth edition of the Asian Para Games held in Hangzhou from October 22 to 28, making it the country’s largest contingent to the continental event. This year, out of the 111 medals, female athletes have contributed 40 medals, that is 36% of the total medal tally. The country competed in 17 out of 22 sports, fielding athletes for the first time in rowing, canoeing, lawn bowl, Taekwondo and blind football.

Overall, nearly 4,000 athletes from 43 countries were competing across 22 sports in 566 gold-medal events in the Para Asian Games.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the medal winners and said these triumphs would be an inspiration for all. Posting on X, he said, “100 MEDALS at the Asian Para Games! A moment of unparalleled joy. This success is a result of the sheer talent, hard work, and determination of our athletes. This remarkable milestone fills our hearts with immense pride. I extend my deepest appreciation and gratitude to our incredible athletes, coaches and the entire support system working with them. These triumphs inspire us all. They serve as a reminder that nothing is impossible for our youth.”

Talking to the news agency PTI, Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik said,

“We have made history, our para-athletes have made the country proud. We will win more medals in the Paris Paralympics than in Tokyo. However, it is not a surprise for us. We expected between 110 to 115 medals, and we ended at 111, the auspicious number (Angel Number).”

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Inspiring Winners From The Para Asian Games

The Indian shuttlers ended up with the second highest medal tally with 21, including four gold. In the chess and archery, India won eight and seven medals respectively while shooting contributed six.

India swept all the three medals in men’s individual rapid VI-B1 event with Satish Inani Darpan winning gold while Pradhan Kumar Soundarya and Ashwinbhai Kanchanbhai Makwana bagged silver and bronze respectively. The trio also bagged the team gold.

India also won the lone medal in rowing with Anita and Konganapalle Narayana picking up a silver in PR3 mixed double sculls event.

The Hangzhou Asian Para games gave the world many inspiring tales of hardships and success. From India’s first para swimmer to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics Suyash Narayan Jadhav, who lost both his hands when he got electrocuted at his brother’s wedding, to the 16-year-old world’s first woman armless archer Sheetal Devi, from Jammu and Kashmir, who was born with Phocomelia, a rare congenital disorder that causes under-developed limbs. Sheetal Devi won the 100th medal for India at this year’s game. Then there is the 400m runner Dilip Mahadu Gavit, whose right arm was amputated from below the elbow, ans he won gold, while Canoeist Prachi Yadav, who is paralysed from the waist down, won gold..

The best-ever showing at Hangzhou by the country’s para-athletes is not only likely to give a fillip to para sports but also encourage the movement to build a more inclusive society for the disabled.

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