India's para athletes set new record with 111 medals
Indian para athletes achieve record-breaking 111-medal haul
In a historic feat, India's para athletes have made their mark at the Asian Para Games (APG) by securing an astonishing total of 111 medals, surpassing their previous best of 72 medals in 2018. This extraordinary achievement solidifies their position as a rising force in para sports, demonstrating a remarkable 54% increase in medal count. The recent APG campaign in Hangzhou not only set a new record but also marked India's best-ever finish at the fifth place, a significant leap from their ninth-place finish in the 2018 Jakarta edition.
Unprecedented triumph and growth
India's journey to the 111-medal milestone was filled with remarkable performances and determined efforts. It was only a matter of time before India reached the magical 100-medal mark, and it happened on the penultimate day of the competition. Dilip Mahadu Gavit's gold in the men's 400m T47 event brought India its 100th medal. Notably, Neeraj Yadav set a Games record in the men's javelin F55 event, creating a throw of 33.69m.
Support for para athletes
The exceptional success of para athletes is attributed to an athlete-centric scientific approach, specialized training, and access to quality guidance and prosthetics. Over the years, extensive work has been done at the grassroots level to enhance their performance. The government's support has been instrumental, with sanctioned foreign exposure trips and training camps for para athletes. Notably, Nishad Kumar's gold in the men's high jump T47 event was a result of 230 days of training under a foreign coach.
Focus on Sports Science
Para athletes in India now benefit from the expertise of 294 sports science professionals, a significant increase from 64 in 2018. The infrastructure, including stadiums and training facilities, has been made more accessible for wheelchair athletes. There are currently 23 National Centres of Excellence (NCOEs) in India providing world-class training facilities for elite athletes, including those in para athletics, para archery, para powerlifting, and para shooting.
India's remarkable success at the APG has garnered praise from the prime minister and sports minister. Plans are underway to celebrate the achievements of the 303-member para contingent. The focus now shifts to the next Paralympics in Paris, with a determination to deliver India's best-ever performance in the event. This historic feat marks a significant step in India's growing prominence in para sports and reflects the dedication and hard work of the country's para athletes.