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Para Asian Games 2023: Indian Athletes Create History, Bag 111 Medals In Hangzhou
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In an exceptional feat, India clinched the fifth position in the medal tally at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games. This achievement is a historic moment, with Indian para athletes securing a total of 111 medals, marking the country's most significant accomplishment in a major international multi-sport event. Their impressive haul consisted of 29 gold, 31 silver, and 51 bronze medals, surpassing the previous record of 107 medals won by able-bodied athletes during the Hangzhou Asian Games held from September 23 to October 8.

The Indian para athletes outperformed expectations, making it even more special. The Para Asian Games were first introduced in 2010 in Guangzhou, China, where India secured the 15th position with 14 medals, including one gold.

In the subsequent 2014 and 2018 editions, India had managed to secure the 15th and ninth positions, respectively. Prior to this, the only time India had crossed the 100-medal mark in a major international multi-sport event (Olympics, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games) was during the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games when they won 101 medals.

Deepa Malik, the President of the Paralympic Committee of India, expressed her pride in the Indian para athletes and their historic achievement. She also confidently predicted that India would win even more medals in the upcoming Paris Paralympics compared to the Tokyo Paralympics.

This remarkable performance at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games is not a surprise, as they had set their expectations between 110 to 115 medals and ended up with the auspicious number of 111. This astounding result highlights the dedication and talent of Indian para athletes.

Indian para athletes excelled in various sports, with athletics contributing the most medals (55, including 18 gold, 17 silver, and 20 bronze). Shuttlers from India secured the second-highest number of medals with 21, including four gold. Chess and archery also made significant contributions, earning eight and seven medals, respectively, while shooting added six medals to the tally. On the concluding day, India added 12 more medals, including four gold. Seven of these medals came from chess, four from athletics, and one from rowing.

The final day saw outstanding performances by Indian athletes. Neeraj Yadav set a Games record of 33.69m in the men's javelin throw F55, securing a gold medal. In the same event, Tek Chand won a bronze with a personal best of 30.36m. Dilip Mahadu Gaviot clinched another gold in the men's 400m T47 race, completing it in 49.48 seconds. Pooja added a bronze in the women's 1500m T20 race with a time of 5:38.81s.

Chess players delivered a spectacular finish with seven medals on the final day, including two gold medals. India swept all three medals in the men's individual rapid VI-B1 event, with Satish Inani Darpan winning gold and Pradhan Kumar Soundarya and Ashwinbhai Kanchanbhai Makwana securing silver and bronze, respectively. This trio also claimed the team gold.

Kishan Gangoli won a bronze in the men's individual rapid VI-B2/B3 event, and Gangoli, Somendra, and Aryan Balchandra Joshi secured a team bronze in the same event. In the women's rapid VI-B1 team event, the trio of Vruthi Saganlal Jain, Himanshi Bhaveshkumar Rathi, and Sanskruti Vikas More won a bronze.

Additionally, on Saturday, India won a solitary medal in rowing, with Anita and Konganapalle Narayana securing a silver in the PR3 mixed double sculls event. The Indian contingent at the Hangzhou Para Asian Games consisted of 313 athletes, making it the largest Indian team in any edition of the Games, including 51 Tokyo Paralympians.

India competed in 17 out of 22 sports, with the country participating in rowing, canoeing, lawn bowls, taekwondo, and blind football for the first time. The Hangzhou Asian Para Games, originally scheduled for October 9-15, 2022, were postponed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, making this achievement even more remarkable.

source pti