Indian para athletes continue to impress at the quadrennial event.
The Tokyo Paralympics 2020 is near its business end, but the Indian contingent is not letting up in their quest for more. The Indian athletes have already bagged multiple gold, silver and bronze medals – with more being added to their tally on Friday.
Praveen Kumar added another silver to the tally with his heroics in the Men’s High Jump category. On the other hand, female shooter Avani Lekhara and archer Harvinder Singh also won bronze medals. There were a lot of ups and downs on an eventful Day 10 for the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics.
Praveen Kumar bagged another medal for India in the athletics events on Friday. He qualified for the Men’s High Jump – T64 final and put on a memorable showing. Kumar set the Asianrecord with a best jump of 2.07m – falling just short of gold medalist Great Britain’s Jonathan Broom-Edwards’ 2.10m jump.
But, disappointment rued Indian shot putter Soman Rana, who seemingly had a bronze medal in the bag after managing an impressive 13.81 throw. He was in the running for a bronze until the end, when the final participant Brazil’s Paulinho shocked everyone with a gold medal clinching throw of 15.10 – creating a Paralympic record! Rana ended up finishing in fourth place and missed out on the bronze by a whisker.
Indian athletes Ekta Bhyan and Kashish Lakra were the participants in the Women’s Club Throw FS1 finals, but failed to secure a medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. Both the athletes managed to record season-best throws, but were unable to make the top three.
Lakra finished in 6th place with a best throw of 12.66m, while Bhyan finished 8th with her best throw of 8.38m.
The day started in bright fashion for India as female shooter Avani Lekhara qualified for the final, finishing second in the qualification rounds of the Women’s 50m Rifle 3 SH1 category. She did well to maintain her composure in the final as well.
Lekhara maintained impressive consistency and finished with a final score of 445.9, which was enough to give her the bronze medal. China’s Cuiping Zhang won the gold medal, while Germany’s Natascha Hiltrop went away with silver.
In the Men’s 50m Rifle 3 SH1 qualification, however, Deepak Saini had a disappointing day. He finished 18th among the 19 competitors, not being able to qualify for the final.
Indian para swimmers Suyash Jadhav and Niranjan Mukundan both had disappointing outings in their Men’s 50m butterfly S7 semi-finals. Suresh participated in Heat 1 of the semi-finals and could only finish in fifth place with a time of 32.36.
Niranjan finished in sixth place in Heat 2 with a time of 33.82 – with neither swimmer being able to qualify for the finals.
India finally got its first medal in the archery after Harvinder Singh won the bronze in the Men’s Individual Recurve category.
The day started superbly, as Harvinder defeated Italy’s Stefano Travisani 6-5 in the Men’s Individual Recurve Open 1/16 elimination round. Meanwhile, Vivek Chikara also won his 1/16 elimination round match, comprehensively defeating Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bandara Megahamulea Gadara with a score of 6-2. Harvinder also excelled in the Open 1/8 round, defeating the Russian Paralympics Committee’s Bato Tsydendorzhiev by the score of 6-5 after a thrilling encounter.
However, Chikara was not able to win his 1/8 round clash, losing to Great Britain’s David Phillips by the score of 3-7. Harvinder continued his excellent momentum and also won his quarterfinal clash against Germany’s Maik Szarszewski with a compelling score of 6-2!
Harvinder, though, couldn’t win his semi-finals clash against USA’s Kevin Mather, losing 4-6 after a gruelling encounter. However, Singh redeemed himself in the bronze medal clash against South Korean archer Kim Min Su, defeating him in a thrilling affair with a score of 6-5 to claim the bronze medal.
A lot of badminton action took place among Indian athletes on Friday. It started in a disappointing fashion in the Women’s Doubles SL3-SU5 category for Indian duo Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar. They lost to the French pair of Lenaig Morin and Faustine Noel 12-21, 20-22 ending their chances of making it out of Group B.
Things went from bad to worse for Kohli in her Women’s Singles SU5 quarterfinal. She lost her clash against Japan’s Kaede Kameyama 11-21, 15-21 to get eliminated from the singles category.
However, Kohli found her redemption in the Mixed Doubles SL3-SU5 category alongside Pramod Bhagat. They defeated Thai duo Nipada Saensupa and Siripong Teamarrom 21-15, 21-19 to make it out of their group and book a place in the semi-finals – where they’ll take on Indonesian duo Leani Ratri Oktila and Hary Susanto.
Top performances by male shuttlers
Meanwhile, in the Men’s Singles category, three Indian para shuttlers were involved. In the Men’s Singles SL4 category, Tarun Dhillon and Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj were the ones representing India and both successfully made it out of their groups.
Yathiraj defeated Indonesia’s Hary Susanto 21-6, 21-12 in his first clash, but lost the second one to France’s Lucas Mazur 15-21, 17-21. However, his key win earlier in the day was enough to help him move into the semi-finals, where he’ll face Indonesia’s Fredy Setiawan.
Dhillon also won his first match of the day, defeating South Korea’s Shin Kyung-hwan 21-18, 15-21, 21-17 in a thrilling encounter. He lost the other against Fredy Setiawan but qualified for the semi-finals, where Dhillon faces Mazur.
In the Men’s Singles SL3 category, Indian shuttler Manoj Sarkar also booked a place in the semi-finals after defeating Ukraine’s Oleksandr Chyrkov 21-16, 21-9, and moved into the next round with Pramod Bhagat. In the Men’s Singles SH6 category, India’s Krishna Nagar defeated Brazilian shuttler Vitor Goncalves Tavares 21-17, 21-14 to move into the semi-finals.
Prachi Yadav was India’s only hope in the Women’s VL2 event and she managed to qualify for the finals after finishing third in the semi-finals with a time of 1:07:397. However, Yadav was unable to bring home a medal, as she finished in eighth place in the final with a time of 1:07:329.