World Record holders appear on the list in several sports.
The 2022 season has been one of the best for many para-athletes starting with Manisha Ramadass who began playing badminton professionally in 2022 and within a span of six months went on to win the World Championships. Since the 1988 Paralympics India has participated in all the editions with the Tokyo Paralympics being the most successful one. The quest for Paris Paralympics has already begun with several Indians winning quotas for the quadrennial event.
We take a look at the top five para-athletes of India in 2022:
5. Bhavina Patel
The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist had another eventful year claiming the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, in 2022. The star paddler beat Christiana Ikpeoyi of Nigeria (12-10,11-2,11-9) in the finals in class 3-5. The paddler from Gujarat only lost one game throughout the tournament and showed full dominance. The 35-year-old before winning the gold at the quadrennial event won the ITTF Egypt Para Open which was her first competition since Tokyo Olympics.
4. Manisha Ramadass
17-year-old Manisha Ramadass had a stellar 2022 season winning the gold medal in the women’s singles and a bronze medal in the doubles partnering Mandeep Kaur in the SU5 category at the para-badminton World Championships. Overall the athlete from Tamil Nadu has a total of 11 gold medals and five bronze medals in 2022. She was awarded the BWF Para-Badminton of the year. What is more surprising is that Manisha started playing in the professional tournament only in March 2022 and in less time has achieved a lot of success. In total, Manisha has won 32 out of the 34 matches that she has contested.
3. Sumit Antil
Perhaps the most well-known para-athlete in India in 2022 is Sumit Antil. Sumit Antil created a world record by registering a distance of 68.62m in the F64 category at the Indian Open National Para Athletics Championships 2022. The athlete had created a world record previously at the Tokyo Olympics spearing the Javelin to a distance of 68.55m winning the gold medal. He has competed alongside Neeraj Chopra and other abled body athletes at a foreign meet and was registering distances above the 60m mark. The 24-year-old in an interview before said that his ultimate aim is to cross the 75m mark.
2. Singhraj Adhana
Singhraj Adhana, a 40-year-old, secured India an Olympic quota by finishing fourth in the P1 men’s 10m air pistol SH1 event at the Para Shooting World Championships. The shooters who finish inside the top four in the final round will earn a quota. Singhraj won another gold medal at the Para Championships in the team event partnering Manish Narwal and Nihal Singh in the P1 men’s air pistol SH1 event. Adhana at the Tokyo Olympics won two medals (silver and bronze) and is a player to watch out for at the Paris Paralympics in 2024.
1. Avani Lekhara
Avani Lekhara, 2020 Tokyo Paralympics champion won the gold medal in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 at the Chateauroux World Shooting Para Sport World Cup. Along with winning the gold medal Avani also broke her own world record scoring 250.6 points with the previous record of 249.6. The 20-year-old also secured India a quota for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. Sriharsha Ramakrishna also secured India an Olympic quota in the R4 – mixed 10m air rifle standing SH2 event winning the gold medal in the same event.
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