Sports Minister hands over trophies to 2020 National Sports Awards winners
New Delhi, Nov 1 (Sports news) Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday physically handed over trophies to the winners of National Sports Awards 2020 after the award ceremony was held virtually last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
All the winners of the National Sports Awards 2020 had already received their cash awards but were not able to collect their trophies and citation because of the pandemic.
On August 29 last, the Sports Ministry had conferred 74 National Sports Awards, including five Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (now renamed as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna) and 27 Arjuna awards.
The notable awardees who attended Monday's ceremony at a city hotel here were women's hockey captain Rani Rampal, star wrestler Vinesh Phogat and 2016 Paralympics gold winner Thangavelu Mariyappan, who were handed the prestigious Khel Ratna.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist boxer Lovlina Borgohain, cricketer Ishant Sharma, sprinter Dutee Chand, archer Atanu Das and shuttlers Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty were among others who collected their the Arjuna trophies.
"The National Sports Awards is a prestigious award that is won by athletes after years of dedication and hard work. Congratulations to all the awardees and the very best for their future events. The journey of the awardees doesn't end here, there is more to be achieved," Thakur said during the function.
"We must also continue to look for talented athletes, groom them and make them capable of winning medals at the international level. So I request all the athletes to take the pledge of at least grooming and training five such athletes who can win medals for India in the future." The event was also graced by Sports Secretary Sujata Chaturvedi, Youth Affairs Secretary Usha Sharma and other top ministry and SAI officials.
List of National Sports Awardees for 2020: Khel Ratna Award: Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), Rani Rampal (Hockey).
Arjuna Award: Atanu Das (Archery), Dutee Chand (Athletics), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton), Chirag Chandrasekhar Shetty (Badminton), Vishesh Bhriguvanshi (Basketball), Manish Kaushik (Boxing), Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing), Ishant Sharma (Cricket), Deepti Sharma (Cricket), Sawant Ajay Anant (Equestrian), Sandesh Jhingan (Football), Aditi Ashok (Golf), Akashdeep Singh (Hockey), Deepika (Hockey), Deepak (Kabaddi), Kale Sarika Sudhakar (Kho Kho), Dattu Baban Bhokanal (Rowing), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Saurabh Chaudhary (Shooting), Madhurika Patkar (Table Tennis), Divij Sharan (Tennis), Shiva Keshavan (Winter Sports), Divya Kakran (Wrestling), Rahul Aware (Wrestling), Suyash Narayan Jadhav (Para-Swimming), Sandeep (Para-Athletics), Manish Narwal (Para Shooting).
Dronacharya Award (Life-Time Category): Dharmendra Tiwary (Archery), Purushotham Rai (Athletics), Shiv Singh (Boxing), Romesh Pathania (Hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (Kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (Para Powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (Tennis), Om Parkash Dahiya (Wrestling).
Dronacharya (Regular Category): Jude Felix (Hockey), Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton).
Dhyan Chand Award: Kuldip Singh Bhullar (Athletics), Jincy Philips (Athletics), Pradeep Shrikrishna Gandhe (Badminton), Trupti Murgunde (Badminton), N Usha(Boxing), Lakha Singh (Boxing), Sukhvinder Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajit Singh (Hockey), Manpreet Singh (Kabaddi), J Ranjith Kumar (Para-Athletics), Satyaprakash Tiwari (Para Badminton), Manjeet Singh (Rowing), Late Shri Sachin Nag (Swimming), Nandan Bal (Tennis), Netarpal Hooda (Wrestling).
Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards: Anita Devi (Land Adventure), Col Sarfraz Singh (Land Adventure), Taka Tamut (Land Adventure), Keval Hiren Kakka (Land Adventure), Satendra Singh (Water Adventure), Gajanand Yadava (Air Adventure), Late Magan Bissa (Life Time Achievement).
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy: Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent: Lakshya Institute, Army Sports Institute.
Encouragement to sports through Corporate Social Responsibility: Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Ltd.
Employment of sportspersons and sports welfare measures: Air Force Sports Control Board.
Sports for Development: International Institute of Sports Management (IISM).
Also Read : Sports Ministry to hand over trophies to winners of 2020 National Sports Awards on November 1
News Source : PTI
Delhi Golf Club felicitates Tokyo Paralympics medallists
New Delhi, Oct 10 (Sports news) India's Tokyo Paralympics medallists, including star shooter Avani Lekhara, were on Sunday felicitated by Delhi Golf Club and Piramal Group here.
Fourteen Paralympians, including Sumit Antil (gold in javelin throw), Manish Narwal (gold in shooting), Pramod Bhagat (gold in badminton) and Krishna Nagar (gold in badminton), besides Lekhara, were presented with cash rewards and mementos at the DGC.
Other Paralympians who were felicitated included two-time gold winner and Tokyo Games silver winner javelin thrower Devender Jhajharia and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (who won gold in 2016 Rio and silver in Tokyo). The felicitation was organised to celebrate the triumph of their spirit over seemingly insurmountable odds.
India won an unprecedented 19 medals -- five gold, eight silver and six bronze -- to finish 24th overall in the medal tally in the Tokyo Paralympics early last month.
"It has always been our endeavour to celebrate India's sportspersons to inspire the youth and next generation of athletes. The iconic achievements of the Paralympians will continue to inspire Indians for generations to come," the DGC said in a release.
Also Read : India will double its medal tally in Paris Paralympics: Pramod Bhagat
News Source : PTI
SAI gives out of turn promotion to 5 Tokyo stars; announces grant for late Dingko Singh's family
New Delhi, Sep 28 (Hockey News) Women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal and goalkeeper Savita Punia, along with Paralympic medal-winners Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar were on Tuesday given out-of-turn promotions by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for their impressive performances in this year's Tokyo Games.
Besides, hockey coach Piyush Dubey, who was part of the men's hockey team's support staff during the bronze-winning effort in Tokyo, was also offered a promotion. The decisions were taken during SAI's 55th Governing Body meeting.
Apart from this, SAI also decided to allocate a one-time grant of Rs 6.87 lakh to the family of former Asian Games gold-medallist and Arjuna award winning late boxer Dingko Singh. Dingko, aged 42, died of liver cancer in June this year.
"Acknowledging the contribution of Late Dingko Singh to Indian Sports, an amount of Rs 6.87 lakhs has been approved as one-time grant to his family," SAI stated.
While Savita was promoted to coach from assistant coach, Rani and Dubey were made senior coaches. Rani and Savita were a part of the Indian squad that finished fourth at the Olympics.
Mariyappan, who won his second successive Paralympic medal in high jumpin Tokyo, was promoted to chief coach from senior coach. Sharad, who was an assistant coach, was made coach for his bronze in Tokyo.
"As a gesture of appreciation for the spectacular efforts of our Tokyo Olympians and Paralympians, the 55th SAI GB has approved out-of-turn promotions to SAI coaches @imranirampal @savitahockey @189thangavelu @sharad_kumar01 and #PiyushDubey. I congratulate them all," Sports Minister Anurag Thakur later tweeted.
Among other decisions, the meeting also decided to start cadre restructuring of SAI and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) secretariat in a bid to strengthen the support system of sportspersons keeping in mind the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.
The restructuring emphasises on increasing the number of Sports Science experts, High Performance coaches and other professionals within SAI to achieve results through its National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs).
The SAI GB approved and ratified approximately 300 additional posts of scientific staff, including High Performance Analysts (138), High Performance Directors (23), Sports Medicine Doctors (23), Physiotherapists (93) and Masseur (104).
Besides, the SAI will also hire additional High Performance Analysts like strength and conditioning experts, sports performance analysts, biomechanists, psychologists, video analysts, physiologists etc.
The SAI also decided to create 50 posts of High Performance Coaches for training at its NCOEs.
In the meeting, it was also decided to rope in corporate support to build the "sporting ecosystem in the country, particularly at NCOEs as part of their CSR initiatives."
Also Read : Tokyo show changed our mentality and instilled self-belief: women's hockey player Goyal
News Source : PTI
India's para-athletes soar high in best ever Paralympics performance
Tokyo, Sep 5 (Paralympic news): Inspirational, incredible and indomitable.
India's paralympians managed to be all these and much more in an epoch-making campaign at the Tokyo Games where an unparalleled 19 medals, including five gold, helped them sign off 24th in the overall tally -- the highest ever.
The tally also included eight silver and six bronze medals but most importantly, it was a performance during which history was scripted almost everyday with the contingent living up to the 'Spirit in Motion' motto of the Games.
Even on the last day of competitions, the medal rush did not stop and Krishna Nagar won a gold after Noida's District Magistrate Suhas Yathiraj signed off his brilliant run with a silver to complete a remarkable badminton show.
The duo's performance was like icing on the cake for the contingent which found new heroes, celebrated some established ones and brought para-sports firmly into spotlight in India.
In all, 54 came to Tokyo and 17 of them left with medals around their necks.
It was an improved performance no doubt but calling it just improvement would be an understatement given that India's overall Games haul was a mere 12 before this edition.
To put things in perspective, at the 2016 Rio Games, India had 19 athletes across five disciplines with four returning with medals in the end.
"Phenomenal Rise of Indian Paralympians! A New Era has Begun," said sports minister Anurag Thakur.
There were several firsts to celebrate and the euphoria lasted the entire duration of the Games.
Two athletes, shooters Avani Lekhara and Singhraj Adana, finished on podium twice, creating their own legacies in their debut Paralympics.
The 19-year-old Lekhara became the first Indian woman to win a Games gold (10m air rifle) and later added a bronze in 50m rifle 3 positions to ensure that her name would now be part of every India-centric Paralympic quiz.
It was an inspiring show by the teenage who was paralysed waist down after being injured in a car accident in 2012.
And to think of it, all her father had hoped to achieve by taking her to shooting range was for Lekhara to get over the anger she had internalised after the accident which left her wheelchair-bound.
The 39-year-old Adana, on the other hand, was a late bloomer after taking a liking to the pistol while dropping his nephew to the range.
His right hand impaired, Adana knocked off a 10m air pistol bronze and 50m pistol silver to ensure that India had more than one double-medallist in the same Games for the first time ever.
There was the first medal in archery through Harvinder Singh (bronze), impaired after wrong medication for dengue, the first medal in table tennis by waist-down paralysed Bhavinben Patel (silver) and also a remarkable two gold medals in badminton through short of stature Nagar and a polio-stricken Pramod Bhagat. Another shooting star rose on horizon with Manish Narwal, all of 19, already a world champion and now a Paralympic champion as well.
Narwal's right hand is impaired and he originally wanted to be a footballer but fate had other plans for the Lionel Messi fan.
Not to mention the legends -- Devendra Jhajharia (javelin throw) and Mariyappan Thangavelu (high jump).
The two long-time flag-bearers of Indian para-sports, who won gold medals in 2016 Rio, and finished on podium again, this time with silver medals, cementing their place among all-time greats of Indian sports.
Bigger than their medals were the circumstances they beat like every athlete that they competed against.
So if Lekhara found her strength with a rifle in her hand after a car accident, Jhajharia, at 40 and with an arm lost to electrocution as a child, showed what longevity truly means in sport.
Nearly half (8) of India's haul this time came from the track-and-field arena with javelin thrower Sumit Antil shining the brightest with a gold en route which he shattered his own world record five times over.
Antil was pursuing a career in wrestling, as his family wanted, before a bike accident led to the amputation of his left leg, changing the course of his life forever.
At 18, Praveen Kumar became India's youngest medallist with a silver in high jump which came with an Asian record for the debutant, whose left leg is impaired.
Another shinning star was Sundar Singh Gurjar, who finished behind Jhajharia in javelin throw.
Gurjar lost his left hand in an accident and in his maiden Paralympics in Rio, he was disqualified after failing to register in time for his event.
He slipped into depression after the heartbreak and had thought of never touching the javelin again but was convinced into giving it another shot by his coaches.
This time, Gurjar was on the clock and also on the podium.
In fact, all of them, even the ones who didn't win a medal, are a personification of fortitude, having braved and beaten circumstances that were difficult at best and improbable at worst.
The performance was a perfect end to India's Tokyo sojourn after able-bodied athletes snared an unprecedented seven Olympic medals last month, including the first individual gold in 13 years. But the paralympians bested their tally by quite a distance.
In the process, they also handed out life lessons on what it means to fight the odds.
If a world scarred by COVID-19 needed inspiration to fight on, it was there in abundance in Tokyo.
The Games truly lived up to an old marketing slogan coined to promote the event -- "the Olympics is where heroes are made. The Paralympics is where heroes come."
Also read: Manoj Sarkar clinches bronze in the badminton men's singles SL3 at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics
News source: PTI
Praveen Kumar wins silver at Men’s High Jump T64 at the Tokyo Paralympics
(Athletics News) Tokyo Paralympics 2021 Live Update: Praveen Kumar increased India’s medal tally to 11 after winning silver at the Men’s High Jump. The 18 year old cleared 1.88m in his first jump and then cleared the 1.97m which was enough to ensure a medal win for Kumar. He competed alongside Great Britain's Jonathan Edwards Broom and Poland's Maciej Lepiato and cleared the 2.04m in his first attempt. However, Praveen Kumar struggled with the 2.07m but managed to accomplish it in his second attempt while both Broom and Lepiato failed initially.
Praveen was assured a silver when Maciej Lepiato failed to clear the 2.07m after the third attempt but Great Britain’s Jonathan Edwards cleared the 2.10m attempt which Kumar could not in three attempts. With this result, India has now won four medals in High Jump at the Tokyo Paralympics as Sharad Kumar, Nishad Kumar, Mariyappan Thangavelu and now Praveen Kumar have all brought glory to the country.
Also read: Paralympics: Arvind ends 7th in men's shot put F35 event
I could not give my best due to rain: Mariayappan
Tokyo, Aug 31 (Paralympics news) Mariayappan Thangavelu on Tuesday rued that rain foiled his bid for a second consecutive gold medal at the Paralympics, saying the wet sock did not let him give his best in the T42 event, here.
After clearing 1.86m, Mariyappan and Sam Grewe twice struggled to clear 1.88m height but the American finally bagged gold medal by soaring over the mark in the final attempt while the Indian could not and settled for silver.
Mariayappan, who hails from Periavadagampatti village in Salem district of Tamil Nadu, had cleared 1.89m when he won the gold in 2016 Rio Paralympics.
He said he could not achieve the target he had set for himself.
"I could have won gold and claimed the world record (1.96m). I came here with that aim. But the rain played spoilsport. It was a drizzle initially but after the 1.80m mark, it became heavy," Mariyappan said after his event.
"The sock on my other leg (the impaired right leg) got wet and it was difficult to jump," said the athlete who suffered permanent disability in his right leg after it was crushed under a bus when he was only five.
Mariyappan, who worked as newspaper hawker between 2012 and 2015 to support his mother Saroja, said the weather in Rio in 2016 was great and similar to India but it was not so in Tokyo.
"I could not execute my plan here. I could have cleared 1.90m had it not been the weather conditions. I will try for gold and world record in Paris 2024," he said.
His coach Satyanarayana, who spotted him in 2015 and moulded him as a Paralympics champion, said Mariyappan was clearing 1.90m easily during training and even touched 1.99m in Para Nationals.
Also read: Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar jump new heights at the Tokyo paralympics
"Weather was the reason why he failed in clearing 1.88m. It is three years from now (for 2024 Paris Olympics). He will win gold there," said Satyanarayana, who is also national Para Athletics chairman and national coach.
A top of the podium finish would have made Mariyappan the first Indian to win back-to-back gold medals in Paralympics.
Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, who clinched a silver in F46 event, had won two gold medals but there was an interval of 12 year.
Mariyappan also said that he was affected mentally when he had to give up the role of Indian contingent's flag bearer during the opening ceremony. He was identified as a close contact of a player of another country during the flight to Tokyo and was isolated.
"Yes, it was very upsetting that I could not become the flag bearer. Moreover, I had to get isolated and also train alone because of quarantine rules," he said.
News source: PTI
Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar jump new heights at the Tokyo paralympics
(Athletics news) Tokyo Paralympics 2021 Live Update: The Men’s High jump saw a thrilling finish as India’s Mariyappan Thangavelu and Sharad Kumar took the Silver and Bronze medal respectively. This is Mariyappan’s second consecutive medal at this event as he bagged the gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Mariyappan Thangavelu had a best jump of 1.86m, Sharad Kumar had a best jump of 1.83m and Varung Singh Bhati finished 7th with a best jump of 1.77m. All the three recorded their season best performances as India ended the day on a bright note. India now has a total of 10 medals in this Paralympics so far.
Also read: Singhraj takes the Bronze in Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 at the Tokyo Paralympics
On top of the world, it's indescribable: Avani Lekhara
Tokyo, Aug 30 (Paralympics news) A car accident in 2012 left Avani Lekhara wheelchair-bound but on Monday the shooter felt "on top of the world" after becoming the first Indian woman to snare a Paralympic gold medal.
Focussing on only one shot at a time and shutting out everything else did the trick for Lekhara. She fired her way to the top of the podium in the R-2 women's 10m air rifle standing SH1 event.
"I can't describe this feeling, I'm feeling like I'm on top of the world. It's unexplainable," she said after the triumph.
Lekhara, who sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident in 2012, finished with a world record equalling total of 249.6, which is also a new Paralympic record.
On staying calm through the final, Lekhara said, "I was just saying one thing, that I have to take one shot at a time. There's nothing else that matters now, just take one shot at a time and just finish it.
"I just think that I have to follow the process. Beyond that, I try not to think about the score or the medal tally." The 19-year-old from Jaipur, who started shooting on the insistence of her father in 2015 at a city shooting range, was delighted to have become the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics gold.
"I'm so happy I could be the one to contribute it. Hopefully there's a lot of medals more to come." She has not looked back since firing her first shot some six years ago, enjoying every bit of the precision sport while working her way to glory at the showpiece.
Also read: Shooter Avani Lekhara wins India’s first gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics
"It seems very homely when I lift a rifle. I feel a connection towards it. When you have to focus and the consistency, that's what I like about shooting," she said.
When asked how she began shooting, Lekhara said, "Summer vacations 2015, my father took me to the shooting range. I shot some shots and they were pretty okay. So I just started as a hobby, and here I am." She will also be competing in the mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1, the women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1 and the mixed 50m Rifle Prone event.
In the SH1 Rifle category, shooters are able to hold a gun with arms.
The athletes have an impairment in their legs, for example amputations or paraplegia.
She is only the fourth Indian athlete to win a Paralympics gold after swimmer Murlikant Petkar (1972), javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia (2004 and 2016) and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu (2016).
News source: PTI
We have wings: Paralympics off to glittering start in Tokyo
Tokyo, Aug 24 (Paralympic news): The opening ceremony of the 16th Paralympic Games began here on Tuesday, paying homage to the resilience of para athletes and giving the message of moving forward amid the unrelenting devastation being caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Paralympics have returned to Tokyo for the first time in 57 years, making the Japanese capital the first ever city to host the Games twice.
The ceremony is set in a 'Para Airport' -- a symbol of diversity and inclusion -- and began with a video that depicted the strength of para athletes.
In the video, a gentle breeze turns into a huge gust of wind that reaches the stadium and sweeps through the field of play.
Following this, a group of crew members, who work at the airport, begin a countdown at the end of which fireworks light up the night sky to celebrate the start of the Games.
Also read: Mariyappan Thangavelu withdrawn as India's Paralympic flag-bearer after coming in contact of COVID positive person
Before this, International Paralympic Committee President Andrew Parsons and Japanese Emperor Naruhito were welcomed to the stadium following which the Japanese flag was carried to the stage by six individuals including Kaori Icho, four-times Olympic freestyle wrestling champion and Takumi Astani, a rescue worker.
This edition of the showpiece will feature an unprecedented 4403 athletes.
The previous record was 4328 which was set at the Rio 2016 Games.
The Tokyo edition will have 2550 male athletes and 1853 female athletes vying for the top honours.
India is being represented by its largest ever delegation of 54 athletes in competitions spread across 12 days.
News source: PTI
Mariyappan Thangavelu withdrawn as India's Paralympic flag-bearer after coming in contact of COVID positive person
Tokyo, Aug 24 (Paralympic news) High-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu was on Tuesday replaced by javelin thrower Tek Chand as India's flag-bearer for the Paralympics opening ceremony here this evening after coming in close contact of a COVID positive person during his flight to Tokyo.
Mariyappan, a gold-medallist from Rio Olympics, has been quarantined along with five other Indians. Discus thrower Vinod Kumar is also among those withdrawn from the ceremony because of the same reason.
"Just now we have received an information from the Tokyo Paralympic COVID control room that 6 of our para athletes have been found to be in close contact while they were travelling to Tokyo," India's Chef de Mission Gursharan Singh said.
"Out of the six, Mariyappan and Vinod Kumar have also been found to be in close contact. Regretfully, Mariyappan who was the flag-bearer will not be able to join the march past today in the opening ceremony.
"Instead of Mariyappan now Tek Chand would be the new flag-bearer," he added.
Also read: Indian para athletes primed for unprecedented medal haul in Tokyo Paralympics
Singh, however, made it clear that both Mariyappan and Vinod will compete in their events as they have tested negative for the virus so far.
"However, both Mariyappan and Vinod Kumar have been found to be negative since last six days and they will be able to participate in their respective events and be allowed to practice adhering to strict COVID guidelines," he added.
India's athletics coach Satyanarayana also confirmed the development.
Six officials and five para-athletes were expected to take part in the opening ceremony.
Besides Mariyappan, the other athletes who were to be part of he event were were Vinod, Tek Chand and power-lifters Jaideep and Sakina Khatun.
India will be represented by 54 para athletes -- the biggest ever contingent in the history of the Games.
News source: PTI
Indian para athletes primed for unprecedented medal haul in Tokyo Paralympics
Tokyo, Aug 23 (Paralympics news): The best ever Olympics just went by for India and the country looks good for its best ever Paralympics with an unprecedented 54 inspirational athletes eyeing a medal haul that might just surpass the double digit figure for the first time at the showpiece, starting here on Tuesday.
The likes of star javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu -- both 2016 Rio Paralympics gold winners -- will lead the biggest ever contingent with India expecting at least 15 medals, including five gold.
India is competing in nine sports in the Paralympics, which is being held under strict safety and health protocols due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has led to few countries pulling out.
The expectation of unprecedented success would not be wide off the mark as at least four Indians are ranked top of the world while six are at number two and around 10 are at number three in global standings.
India has won 12 medals in total in Paralympics since it first took part in 1972 and if the projected success materialises, the country could be among the top 25 in the medal tally this time, as against 43rd in 2016 with 2 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
With the government loosening its purse strings for para-athletes and many of them preparing well at various Sports Authority of India facilities across the country, the Paralympians look set to add to the euphoria of sporting success following the best ever medal haul in the Olympics which ended on August 8.
India secured seven medals, including one gold and two silver medals, during the Olympics.
Jhajharia, who lost his left hand due to electrocution as a child, is going strong even at 40 and is aiming for a hat-trick of gold medals in the F-46 category after finishing on top of podium in 2004 and 2016. He is current world record holder in the event.
F-46 classification is meant for athletes who have upper limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement.
Mariyappan, who was permanent disabled at the age of five when a bus crushed his right leg below the knee, is another para athlete seeking to defend the gold he had won in 2016 in T63 high jump, though he is currently ranked world number 2.
He will also hold the country's flag during the opening ceremony on Tuesday.
World champion Sandeep Choudhary (F-64 javelin throw) is the third gold medal contender from the 24-strong para athletics team. He is world number one and world record holder also.
Other medal prospects from para-athletics are reigning world champion Sundar Singh Gurjar and Ajeet Singh (also in F-46) and Navdeep Singh (F41) -- all para-javelin throwers.
The Paralympic Committee of India is hoping to win 10 medals from para athletics.
Para-athletes are given a classification depending on the type and extent of their disability. The classification system allows athletes to compete against others with a similar level of ability.
Also read: Tokyo Games is going to be our best outing at Paralympics, say PCI chief Deepa Malik
Badminton will make its debut at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo and India have some of the brightest medal prospects.
World No. 1 and multiple-time world champion Pramod Bhagat is a top gold medal contender in men's SL3 event.
World No. 2 shuttler Krishna Nagar (SH6) and Tarun Dhillon (SL4) are other para shuttlers who are expected to do well.
The experienced Parul Parmar, a two-time former world championship gold medallist, and young Palak Kohli (SL3-SU5), whose one hand did not develop properly at birth, will carry high hopes of returning with a medal in the women's category.
India is also banking on its shooters and archers to rise to the occasion in Tokyo.
In archery, India will have Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar (compound), Vivek Chikara and Harvinder Singh (recurve) and woman archer Jyoti Baliyan (compound individual /mixed event).
The other sports Indians are participating in are Para Canoeing, Para Swimming, Para Powerlifting, Para Table Tennis and Para Taekwondo.
India's campaign begins from August 25 with para table tennis players Bhavina Patel and Sonal Patel in action.
As both are not strong contenders for a podium finish, India's first medal is expected to come on Friday when para archery events begin. Once para athletics events begin on Saturday, a medal rush is expected to start.
With the Paralympics -- set to be declared open by emperor Naruhito -- being held in the backdrop of surging COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and other parts of Japan, the health and safety protocols have been strict.
Just like in the Olympics, only six officials are allowed to take part in the opening ceremony on Tuesday and five athletes, including flag bearer Mariyappan, will form the 11 member Indian group.
The other athletes are discus thrower Vinod Kumar, javelin thrower Tek Chand and powerlifters Jaideep and Sakina Khatun.
The Indian contingent will be the 17th to enter the Olympic Stadium after Iran.
In view of the surging COVID-19 cases, fans have been banned from the Paralympics, just like the preceding Olympic Games, though the organisers are still trying to allow children in some venues.
The Olympics had seen more than 11000 athletes from 205 countries (plus Olympic Refugee Team) competing in 339 events in 33 sports.
The Paralympics will feature around 4500 athletes from 163 countries but competing in 540 events in 22 sports.
The number of events are more in Paralympics as there are different classifications depending on the level of disability.
News source: PTI
Tokyo Games is going to be our best outing at Paralympics, say PCI chief Deepa Malik
New Delhi, Aug 23 (Paralympic news) Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) chief Deepa Malik is expecting the country's para-athletes to create history by recording its best-ever performance at the Tokyo Games beginning Tuesday.
India will field its biggest contingent with 54 athletes set to compete in nine sports -- archery, athletics, badminton, canoeing, shooting, swimming, powerlifting, table tennis and taekwondo.
"Absolutely, my expectations have already gone beyond what I was expecting. This year, India is sending the largest-ever contingent. I am very hopeful that we are going to create history," Malik said when asked if she is expecting the best-ever display.
"It's a contingent which is three times bigger in number, we have added four more sports in the past 4-5 years of gap between 2016-21.
"Almost two years have gone in the pandemic but despite that it's a huge leap in the number of athletes qualifying," Malik said during a virtual press conference to launch a joint campaign with Coca Cola-owned homegrown beverage brand Thumbs Up.
The first woman from India to win a Paralympic medal, Malik said the statistics are looking bright for the Indian contingent.
"It is not just qualification it is also acquiring the quota on the basis of world ranking. The statistics are looking very bright, athletes have done pretty well in the selection trials and the kind of current world rankings they are holding look very promising.
"Because the number of participation and the number of sports has increased, we have top ranking athletes, that gives us a very good indication that it's going to be great Paralympics for Indian history." At the Rio Games in 2016, the Indian contingent returned with a haul of four medals, including two gold, a silver and a bronze.
Also read: Tendulkar seeks support for Paralympic Games, calls para athletes 'real life heroes'
Malik, the Rio Games silver medallist in shot put, said the athletes have adapted well to the conditions in the Games Village.
Talking about the COVID restrictions, she said "We have to submit our samples every morning for COVID testing. Before entering any place you have to give your temperature and maintain a distance. In the village there are designated lanes." Thumbs Up, which has partnered with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, will also be unveiling a campaign that includes a series of videos and other related visuals for digital and social media to keep the audiences connected with the event and the Indian athletes participating in it.
"My journey of ability beyond disability has been that of breaking stereotypes and myths around disability. The partnership with Thumbs Up is a step forward in that direction," Malik said.
The campaign will feature six athletes including Mariyappan Thangavelu (High jump), Sakina Khatun (Powerlifting), Suyash Yadav (Swimming), Navdeep (Javelin throw), Sumit Antil (Javelin throw), and Avani Lekhara (Shooting).
Battling odds on almost daily basis, the protagonists are seen wearing the "taunts" they are subjected to on their T-shirts against the backdrop of the tagline 'TaanePalatDe'.
Arnab Roy, vice-president and head - marketing, Coca Cola India and south west Asia said, "This strategic partnership is our way of standing in solidarity and saluting the sheer grit and determination of these athletes who have come from different walks of life but showcase the same heroism against all odds and challenges."
News source: PTI
Indian medal contenders at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020
(Paralympic news): India has participated in every Paralympic games since 1984, athletics has proven to be a strong field for the country with 10 medals in total. Javelin Throw has been the most successful sport with 4 medals, swimming and powerlifting have a medal each. Rio de Janeiro was the country’s most successful games with four medals which included 2 Golds, one Bronze and one Silver.
There are many medal contenders this time including previous medalists who will be looking for successive victories. India will be sending 54 athletes who will be competing in 9 sports, in the previous games the country had sent 19 athletes so there is a huge improvement this time. The prediction is we might come back with a record tally and hopefully the predictions come true.
Devendra Jhajharia (Javelin F-46)
Devendra Jhajharia will again aim for a record breaking throw as he will look to enter the record books. He is the first and only Indian para athlete to win two gold medals at the Paralympics. His first gold came in men’s Javelin Throw in 2004 Athens and the second gold was in 2016 Rio. In both the Golds he broke the world records even though there was a timespan of 12 years. His event was not included in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Paralympics but now he could become the first ever Indian athlete to win three gold medals at the Paralympics.
Mariyappan Thangavelu (High jump T-42)
Thangavelu surprised many by winning a Gold in the Rio Olympics in Men’s High Jump. He will be looking for a podium finish for the second time. He was the flag bearer in the 2018 Asian Games held in Jakarta. He also won the bronze medal in the 2019 World Para Athletics Championship.
Also read: Hoping to build on unprecedented gains made by javelin throw: Jhajharia
Sharad Kumar (High jump T-42)
A former world number 1, he won the Gold medal in the 2014 Para Asian Games by breaking a 12 year Asian record. He won Silver in the 2017 World Para Athletics Championship and finished 6th in the Rio Olympics. He will be looking to finish on top this time in Tokyo.
Pramod Bhagat (Badminton)
This is the first time badminton is being played at the Paralympics and Pramod Bhagat will be looking to conquer Tokyo. He has already won 4 Singles medals at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships including two Gold, one Silver and one Bronze. He is one of the top players in the world and is expected to bring home a Gold for India.
Sundar Singh Gurjar (Javelin F-46)
Sundar won the gold at the IPC World Championships in London in 2017. He also won the Gold in Javelin at the the 8th FAZAA IPC Athletics Grand Prix, he also won three Gold medals in the 9th FAZAA IPC Athletics Grand Prix but shocked everyone by finishing on top in Javelin, Shot Put and Discus Throw. He will be looking to continue his form in Javelin Throw.
Parul Parmar (Badminton)
She has won Gold in the 2015 Singles and mixed doubles and 2017 Singles and Doubles BWF Para Badminton World Championships. She will be looking to become just the second Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympics. She will be playing in the Doubles competition
Palak Kohli (Badminton)
She won the Gold in doubles and Silver in singles at the BWF Para Badminton International 2019 held in Uganda. She also has won the Bronze in BWF Para Badminton International 2019 held in Japan. She will look to bring home a medal along with Parul Parmar.
Star para-javelin thrower Jhajharia says he was on verge of quitting in 2013
New Delhi (Paralympics) Double Paralympic gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia on Tuesday said he was on the verge of quitting the sport after his pet event was excluded from the 2008 and 2012 editions but his wife convinced him to keep going.
The 40-year-old Jhajharia won his first gold in F-46 category in 2004 Athens Paralympics and then had to wait for another 12 years for his second yellow metal in 2016 Rio Games.
"When my event was not included in 2008 Paralympics, I said OK it will be in 2016. But when it was not there again in 2012, I thought I would quit the sport. This was 2013," Jhajharia told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a virtual interaction.
"But my wife said I should not do it and can play till 2016. So, I changed my plan and in 2013 I got to know that my event will be there in the Rio Paralympics. Then I started training at SAI Center in Gandhinagar and won my second gold in 2016 Rio." His wife Manju is a former national level kabaddi player.
Dropping or introduction of an event in a particular edition of Paralympics is solely on the discretion of International Paralympic Committee. Those events (or classifications) which attract less participation in the previous Paralympics or other top competitions are prone to be dropped.
Para-athletes are given a classification depending on the type and extent of their disability. The classification system allows athletes to compete against others with a similar level of ability.
F-46 classification is meant for athletes who have upper limb affected by limb deficiency, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement.
Also read: Joginder Singh Bedi: The man whose record stands tall and strong in Indian Paralympic history
Jhajharia, who is gunning for a hat-trick of gold in Tokyo Paralympics beginning August 24, said he had faced taunts from people when he started his sport.
"When I was nine years old, I lost my hand (due to electrocution). It was a challenge to go outside my house. When I pulled javelin at my school, there were taunts that I had to deal with.
"People asked how will I throw a javelin, they told me there is no place for me in sports, it's better to study and try and get a good job.
"Then I decided that I will not be weak. In life I have learnt that when there is a challenge in front of us then you are close to achieving success. So, I took it as a challenge.
"I am dedicated towards my sport. I am very disciplined, I keep a javelin in the room where I sleep." Another Rio Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu told the PM that he will give his best in Tokyo.
"I suffered an accident when I was a small kid but I did not let that deter me. My coach (Satyanarayana) has helped me a lot and I have got a lot of support from the government, SAI and the paralympic committee. I want to tell every athlete to never give up." Young para badminton player Palak Kohli, whose one hand did not develop properly, narrated how a chance meeting with coach Gaurav Khanna changed her life.
Kohli has been training at Gaurav Khanna Academy in Lucknow since 2019 and she could train even during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown.
"Paralympics is the biggest stage for any para-athlete and I had not thought I would reach here so fast. But I hope I can prove that my disability can become a superability."
News Source: PTI
You are all winners and role models, Prime Minister Modi tells Tokyo-bound para athletes
New Delhi, Aug 17 (Paralympic news) "You are all winners and role models," Prime Minister Narendra Modi told India's top para athletes, who are set to compete in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics.
Modi virtually interacted with 10 athletes, including 2016 Rio edition gold winners Devendra Jhajharia and Mariyappan Thangavelu, and urged them to compete without pressure.
The Paralympics will be held between August 24 to September 5.
"In spite of all the difficulties in your lives, you did not lose heart and kept on fighting. By your hard work and strong will, you have reached this stage against all odds. You are going the represent the country in the biggest sporting stage," Modi said.
Also read: Medal winning performances by Indians at the Paralympic Games
"You all are winners and role models. You should not play with pressure. I hope you all will give your best and medals will follow. You will make the country proud." India is sending a 54-member team -- the largest ever -- in the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics with hopes that the country will produce its best ever performance.
The team has some of the brightest medal prospects like Jhajharia, seeking his third Paralympics gold (after 2004 and 2016) in F-46 javelin throw, Mariyappan (T-63 high jump) and world champion Sandeep Choudhary (F-64 javelin throw).
India will compete in nine sports.
Mariyappan, who had won a gold in the last edition in Rio, will be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur wished the athletes good luck, noting that para-athletes have performed impressively in the international events in the last few years.
"We have won 12 medals so far in the Paralympics. Our athletes have done very well in the international events in the last few years.
"I hope they will give their best and win laurels for the country." India will start its campaign on August 27, with men's and women's archery events.
News source: PTI
Medal winning performances by Indians at the Paralympic Games
(Paralympic News): The International Paralympic Committee heads the Paralympic Games and has 176 National Paralympic Committees. The first Paralympic Games was held in 1960 Rome where over four hundred athletes competed from 23 countries. They are held in the same year as the Olympic Games and from 1988 it was decided that it will be held in the same venue with the same facilities as the Olympic Games till the 2032 games.
India participated for the first time in the 1968 Paralympic Games but did not win any medals. They have won 12 medals in the Paralympic Games and have participated in each of them since the 1984 Games. India did not participate in the 1976 and 1980 Games and has never participated in the Paralympic Winter Games which was first held in 1976. India will be participating in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games with a record 54 athletes comprising 40 men and 14 women.
There were 10 athletes, seven men and three women. Murlikant Petkar won the first ever Gold medal for India at the Paralympic Games. He is the first athlete to win a medal for India at the Games, finishing first in the 50 meter freestyle 3 with a world record time of 37.331 seconds. India finished 25th overall in the medal table.
1984 Stoke Mandeville/New York
The 1984 Games saw history made as Jogender Singh became the first Indian to win multiple medals in the same edition. He won the Silver medal in Men's Shot Put L6, Bronze in Men's Javelin L6 and Men's Discus Throw L6, with three medals he has the most medals in the Paralympics for an Indian. Bhimrao Kesarkar won the fourth medal for the country as he finished with a Silver in Men’s Javelin L6. India finished 37th overall in the medal tally. This was India’s most successful Games as there were four medals.
Also read: National Sports Awards function delayed to include performers at Tokyo Paralympics
Twelve athletes competed in the Games in which there was only one woman. India won their first medal after the 1984 Games. Devendra Jhajharia won the first gold medal for India in Athletics as he finished on top with a throw of 62.15m in Men's Javelin F44/46 which also became a world record. Rajinder Singh Rahelu won the Bronze medal in Men’s 56kg Powerlifting. India finished 53rd with two medals.
The country had 10 athletes participating in the Games, all of them men. Girisha Nagarajegowda won the only medal for India in the London games as he took home the Silver in Men’s High Jump F42. India finished 67th in the medal table.
2016 Rio de Janeiro
19 athletes represented India, with three women athletes. Mariyappan Thangavelu won the Gold medal in Men's High Jump F42, Varun Singh Bhati took the Bronze in the same event. Deepa Malik became the first Indian woman to win a medal in the Paralympic Games when she finished with a Silver in Women's Shot Put F53. Devendra Jhajharia became the first Indian to win two Gold medals and win medals in two separate occasions in the Paralympic Games. He again broke the world record in Men's Javelin F46 by recording a throw of 63.97m. This was India’s most successful Games, as it secured 2 Gold, a Silver and Bronze each. India finished 43rd in the medal tally.
54-member Indian team for Paralympics accorded warm send-off to Tokyo
New Delhi, Aug 12 (Paralympic news) A 54-member Indian team for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics was on Thursday accorded a warm send-off by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the national governing body, with high hopes that the country will return with its best ever performance.
The team has some of the brightest medal prospects like Devendra Jhajharia, seeking his third Paralympics gold (after 2004 and 2016) in F-46 javelin throw, Mariyappan Thangavelu (T-63 high jump) and world champion Sandeep Choudhary (F-64 javelin throw).
India will compete in nine sports.
Mariyappan, who had won a gold in the last edition in Rio, will be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony on August 24. The Tokyo Paralympics will end on September 5.
Also read: Eurosport India awarded rights to broadcast Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games
The Tokyo-bound players were part of the event virtually as they are in strict bio-bubble.
"The ambition and self-confidence of our para athletes give inspiration to 1.3 billion Indians. In front of their courage, the biggest of challenges bow. And they deserve every bit of it," Thakur said in a video message.
"The number of our para athletes participating in the upcoming Games is three times bigger than the last edition. I have full faith in your abilities. I believe that your performance too will be better than last time." He said it's a matter of great pride and satisfaction that the para athletes have so far won three Khel Ratna, seven Padma Shri and 33 Arjuna awards.
"It's not easy at all but your hard work, the desire to win and your passion translate all the challenges into triumphs. I know when you go to Tokyo Games, you will go with only one thought -- to better India's ranking in the medals tally from before." Thakur said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done his best to motivate the country's athletes before and during the Tokyo Olympics and will do the same for the para athletes also.
India achieved its best ever performance in the Paralympic Games in the 2016 Rio Games with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.
PCI president Deepa Malik, who herself had won a silver medal in shot put at Rio 2016 Games, said, "The games will not be the same again after Tokyo2020 Paralympics. We are going to see a record haul of medals as our athletes are in prime form." PCI secretary general Gursharan Singh will be the chef de mission of the Indian team.
Badminton will make its debut at the Paralympic Games, which will feature as many as seven Indian shuttlers.
Indian fans can catch all the Live action of the country's para athletes on Eurosports and DD Sports. PCI has awarded the rights to broadcast the Paralympics live to Eurosport India.
India will start its campaign on August 27, with men's and women's archery events.
News source: PTI
Eurosport India awarded rights to broadcast Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games
(Paralympic news) The Paralympic Committee of India has awarded Eurosport India rights to show LIVE action, delayed broadcast and highlights for Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games on Eurosport India and discovery+, events featuring Indian athletes and teams LIVE on Eurosport India.
Vijay Rajput: The Paralympic Committee of India and Eurosport India have a common vision of helping our para-athletes gain visibility amongst the passionate Indian sporting communities.
Mumbai, 11th August 2021: Eurosport India have been given the rights to broadcast the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games by the Paralympic Committee of India.
The Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, set to take place between 24 August and 5 September. Eurosport will broadcast a global multi-sport event for the first time in India and expand on a diverse range of sports already available to fans across its platforms.
The main focus will be on the local heroes, Eurosport India’s coverage of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will start on 27 August with the men’s and women’s archery events at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field. The Eurosport feed will also be LIVE on the discovery+ app for the fans to stay up to speed with all the action from Tokyo.
Eurosport’s coverage of the Paralympics in India, which also includes the online platform of discovery+, will ensure fans are given access to the most inspiring local stories told by the best storytellers to unlock the power of sport and the Games.
Mr Gursharan Singh, Secretary General, Paralympic Committee of India said, “At the brink of a historic National Sporting Movement, our Indian Para Sportsmen are inspired and excited to win glory and pride for the country at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Such honouring moments must and would be shared and celebrated. Indians masses across the globe should be able to bask in the triumphant performance of our Paralympic Stars. Eurosport will be our official Media Broadcasting Partner to share the exciting minute to minute live telecast of the said biggest Para Sporting Event.”
Also read: Delhi High Court refuses to interfere with non-selection of Arjuna Awardee para shuttler Raj Kumar for Tokyo games
Eurosport India shall be the exclusive pay TV partner in the South Asian countries. The rights include showcase of LIVE sports, delayed telecast and highlights across key events in 22 sporting disciplines, treating the Indian sports fans with some scintillating action from the quadrennial sporting spectacle.
Speaking about the association Mr. Vijay Rajput, Senior Vice President – Affiliate sales and Product Distribution, Asia - India Sales & Distribution at Discovery Inc. and Head of Eurosport India, said, “This is a milestone event in the short life of Eurosport India. Eurosport is the Home of Olympics in Europe and our association with the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will be the first step towards a similar journey in India.”
“While the Olympics may receive all the glory, and rightfully so this year with a scintillating performance from India, it’s now time to promote our incredible Paralympic athletes who have made the country proud time and again.
The Paralympic Committee of India and Eurosport India have a common vision of helping our athletes gain visibility amongst passionate Indian sporting communities and this association is a testimony of that. We wish the Indian Paralympic squad the very best for the upcoming Summer Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.” he added.
India will be fielding 54 Paralympic athletes participating across nine sporting disciplines which makes its the largest ever Indian contingent. Fans will be able to cheer every Indian hero throughout the Games, including world No.3 and world No.2 Sumit Antil and Sandeep Chaudhary in Javelin; Manish Narwal (10m air pistol), Singhraj (10m air pistol) and Avani Lekhara (10m air rifle, 50m air rifle) in shooting and flagbearer Mariyappan Thangavelu in High Jump.
Badminton will make its debut at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympic Games, which will feature as many as five shuttlers in the men’s category – Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Tarun Dhillon, Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar alongside the women’s doubles pairing of Parul Parmar, Palak Kohli.
Eurosport India secures rights to broadcast Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games starting from 24th August
New Delhi, Aug 11 (Olympic news) Indian fans can catch all the live action of the country's para athletes during the upcoming Paralympics with the Paralympic Committee of India awarding the rights to broadcast the Games to Eurosport India.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games, scheduled to be held between August 24 and September 5, will be the first time Eurosport broadcasts a global multi-sport event in India.
"Eurosport will be our official Media Broadcasting Partner to share the exciting minute to minute live telecast of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games," PCI, secretary general Gursharan Singh said in a release.
India will be fielding its largest ever contingent this year with 54 Paralympic athletes participating across nine sporting disciplines.
Also read: Delhi High Court refuses to interfere with non-selection of Arjuna Awardee para shuttler Raj Kumar for Tokyo games
Some of the athletes include world No.3 and world No.2 Sumit Antil and Sandeep Chaudhary in javelin; Manish Narwal (10m air pistol), Singhraj (10m air pistol) and Avani Lekhara (10m air rifle, 50m air rifle) in shooting and Mariyappan Thangavelu in high jump.
Thangavelu will be the flag bearer of the Indian team.
Badminton will make its debut at the Paralympic Games, which will feature as many as five Indian shuttlers in the men's category – Pramod Bhagat, Manoj Sarkar, Tarun Dhillon, Suhas Yathiraj and Krishna Nagar alongside the women's doubles pairing of Parul Parmar and Palak Kohli.
The coverage of the Paralympic Games will start on August 27 with the men's and women's archery events at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field.
The Eurosport feed will also be LIVE on the discovery+ app.
News source: PTI
Paralympic Committee of India picks 24 para athletes for Tokyo Paralympics
New Delhi, Jul 3 (Olympics news) The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) on Saturday announced a 24-member athletics team, headlined by star javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia and high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu, for the Tokyo Paralympics, beginning August 24.
Besides Jhajharia and Thangavelu, who won gold in the F46 javelin and T-42 high jump events respectively in the 2016 Rio Paralympics, other top para-athletes include world record holders Sandeep Chowdhury and Sumeet.
The PCI's selection committee picked the team after a two-day trial at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on June 29 and 30. The selection meeting was chaired by PCI chief Deepa Malik.
India has been granted 24 slots, including four women athletes, by the World Para Athletics.
Also read: Swimming Federation of India nominates Sajan Prakash for Arjuna, Kamlesh Nanavati for Dhyan Chand
The committee also picked men's F-57 javelin thrower Ranjeet Bhati, who was not in the long list of athletes for accreditation as his ranking was low before the trial.
"However, he significantly improved his performance in Final Selection Trial and is ranked 5th as per the MES Ranking as on 01.07.2021," the PCI said.
"His selection is subjected to issuance of the accreditation for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics 2020." The committee also named Sandip Sanjay Sargar (javelin F-64) as reserve athlete.
The Team: Men: Devendra Jhajharia, Ajeet Singh and Sundar Singh Gurjar (all javelin F-46), Sandeep Chaudhary and Sumit (both javelin F-64), Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar and Varun Singh Bhatti (all high jump T-63), Amit Kumar and Dharambir (both club throw F-51), Nishad Kumar and Ram Pal (both high jump T-47), Sonam Rana (shot put F-57), Navdeep (javelin F-41), Praveen Kumar (high jump T-64), Yogesh Kathuniya (discus throw F-56), Vinod Kumar (discus throw F-56), Ranjeet Bhati (javelin F-57), Arvind (shot put F-35), Tek Chand (javelin F-54).
Women: Ekta Bhyan and Kashish Lakra (both club throw F-51), Bhagyashri Jadhav (shot put F-34), Simran (100m T-13).
Reserve: Sandi Sanjay Sagar (men's javelin F-64).
News source: PTI
Rio gold medallist High-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu named flag-bearer for Tokyo Paralympics
New Delhi, Jul 2 (Olympics news) Top para high-jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu was on Friday named the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent in the Tokyo Paralympics, which begins on August 24.
Thangavelu, who is defending the T-42 gold he had won in 2016 Rio Paralympics during the August 24 to September 5 showpiece in Tokyo, was picked for the honour by the executive committee of the national body.
"Mariyappan Thangavelu will be the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent at the Tokyo Paralympics. The decision was taken at the executive committee meeting of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI)," Para-Athletics Chairman R Satyanarayana told PTI.
The 25-year-old Thangavelu, who was conferred with the Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting award, last year is one of the 24 para-athletes picked by the selection committee for the Tokyo Paralympics.
Also read: Para Games gold medallists Saroha set for 3rd Paralympics, Sandeep Chaudhary too qualifies
A total of 72 para-athletes, including 18 female players, took part in the selection trials held here on June 29 and 30. India has been granted 24 slots, including four women athletes, by the World Para Athletics.
Thangavelu had won the Rio Paralympics T-42 high jump gold by clearing 1.89m.
He qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics after finishing third in the T-42 high jump event at the 2019 IPC World Athletics Championships in Dubai.
Thangavelu, who hails from Salem district in Tamil Nadu, suffered permanent disability at the age of five when a bus crushed his right leg below the knee.
He had to work as newspaper hawker to support his family and sustain his sporting dreams when he started his career.
His target is to win his second gold and create a world record in his event in Tokyo Paralympics by clearing the 2-metre mark.
"A gold and a world record in Tokyo is my target and I think I can achieve it," he had told PTI last year.
The current world record in T-42 high jump stands at 1.96m.
In T-42 category, the athletes have one or more impairment types affecting hip and/or knee function in one or both limbs and with activity limitations in throws, jumps and running competing without prosthesis.
News source: PTI
Sports Ministry extends deadline for submission of National Sports Awards applications
New Delhi, Jun 18 The Sports Ministry on Friday extended the deadline to submit applications for this year's National Sports Awards by a week, enabling the online process to continue till June 28.
Earlier the last date of submission of nominations and applications was fixed at June 21.
"...it has been decided to extend the last date for submission of applications from 21st June, 2021 to 28th June, 2021," read a circular issued by Under Secretary to the Government of India, Sudershan Garlapati.
The Sports Ministry had on May 20 invited applications for the national sports awards, allowing eligible athletes, coaches, universities and other entities to self-nominate and apply online for a second year running because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Till 2019, applicants needed recommendations to be able to apply but the condition was waived off last year as the COVID-19 lockdown prevented smooth movement of people.
Last year, 74 recipients were bestowed with the awards.
The prize money was also increased significantly with the Khel Ratna awardees receiving Rs 25 lakh, Arjuna awardees Rs 15 lakh, Dhronacharya (Lifetime) Rs 15 lakh, and Dhyanchand winners Rs 10 lakh.
In an unprecedented move, cricketer Rohit Sharma, women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu and TT player Manika Batra were jointly awarded the Khel Ratna last year. News source PTI
Olympic-bound race walker Irfan and four others return negative in second COVID test
New Delhi, May 14 Olympic-bound race walker K T Irfan and four other elite track-and-field athletes have returned negative for COVID-19 in a confirmatory second test conducted at Sports Authority of India's Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru, the nodal body said on Friday.
Irfan was among five athletes who tested positive for COVID-19 at the centre in a weekly test conducted on May 7.
But the SAI on Friday confirmed that all these athletes, who got their first jab of COVID-19 vaccine on April 29, have returned negative in the second test conducted on Thursday.
However, the SAI said out of 22 athletes, who underwent the tests, one is still positive but it didn't disclose any further details.
"All have tested negative in the second test conducted yesterday, the results of which came this morning. All athletes at the SAI campus across the country are being tested on a weekly basis," a SAI source told PTI.
A total of 16 tests were conducted on Friday, which included two steeplechase athletes, two male race walkers, a male middle and long distance runner, two female middle and long distance athletes, four para athletes, besides a para coach and an NCOE athlete.
Others to test negative are two SAI resident staff and one housekeeping worker.
During the weekly test conducted May 6 and 7, 22 athletes tested positive for coronavirus.
"They were asymptomatic and isolated and kept under medical observation. 21 of the 22 athletes have since tested negative after a repeat RT PCR test was done," the SAI stated.
"Among those who have tested negative are, race walker KT Irfan, middle and long distance athletes PU Chitra and Sandeep Kumar and para athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu. Hockey players Chinglensena Singh and Vivek Sagar Prasad are also among those who have tested negative,' the SAI said in a statement.
At SAI Bengaluru, where athletes in hockey, track and field and para-athletics are based, all have been vaccinated on April 29.
According to SAI, during the repeat test on May 10 and 13, 21 of the 22 athletes returned negative.
"The team of doctors are monitoring the health of the one athlete who continues to remain positive," it said.
Due to a surge in coronavirus cases across the country, the decision was taken in March that all athletes and support staff based in SAI regional centres are being subjected to weekly testing to ensure their safety.
The recent developments came to light on Thursday after four male and one female athlete, besides four support staff, tested positive, following which SAI conducted another round of tests.
Last month, five Indian athletes training in the centre -- Olympic-bound Priyanka Goswami, Asian Games 1500m gold-medallist Jinson Johnson, long distance runner Parul Chaudhary, steeplechaser Chinta Yadav and another race walker Eknath -- had tested positive for the dreaded virus.
Russian race walk coach Alexander Artsybashev had also tested positive at that time.
Irfan returned negative at that time after he was tested as a primary contact of Johnson.
The SAI centre had also grappled with COVID-19 infection of Indian women's hockey captain Rani Rampal, her six team-mates and two support staff members. All of them have since recovered after spending two weeks in quarantine.
The SAI centre in Bengaluru is the training base of the men's and women's hockey teams and track and field athletes. News Source : PTI