Anju Bobby George praises Indian athletes’ performance at Tokyo Paralympics

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Anju Bobby George praises Indian athletes' performance at Tokyo Paralympics

Changanassery: Anju Bobby George, a former Indian athlete, praised the country’s performance at the Tokyo Paralympics, as it finished 24th worldwide with 19 medals, having five gold, eight silver, and six bronze.

The country had sent the largest ever participation of 54 para-athletes to the Paralympics, competed in nine sports.

Badminton and taekwondo, both of which were represented by Indians, made their debuts in Tokyo. India had won 12 medals in total since its debut appearance at the Paralympics in 1968 till the 2016 tournament in Rio. At the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, the country has already surpassed that total alone and scripted a new history.

“It’s a tremendous effort from para-athletes this time. This is for the first time and we never expected these many medals from them. So we all are happy and I think India is celebrating like the Olympics. They are all heroes,” Anju Bobby George told ANI.

“There is no difference between Paralympics and Olympics now. Everywhere they are equal. Even support-wise or training-wise, they are getting equal,” she added.

The following Indian athletes won gold medals at the Paralympics in Tokyo: Avani Lekhara in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1, Pramod Bhagat in men’s singles SL3 badminton, Krishna Nagar in men’s singles SH6 badminton, Sumit Antil in men’s javelin throw F64, and Manish Narwal in mixed 50m pistol SH1.

While Bhavinaben Patel in women’s singles Class 4 table tennis, Singhraj Adhana in mixed 50m pistol SH1, Yogesh Kathuniya in men’s discus F56, Nishad Kumar in men’s high jump T47, Mariyappan Thangavelu in men’s high jump T63, Praveen Kumar in men’s high jump T64, Devendra Jhajharia in men’s javelin F46, and, Suhas Yathiraj in men’s singles badminton SL4- bagged silver at Games.

The bronze medalists were as follows:  Avani Lekhara in women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1, Harvinder Singh in men’s individual recurve archery, Sharad Kumar in men’s high jump T63, Sundar Singh Gurjar in men’s javelin throw F46, Manoj Sarkar in men’s singles badminton SL3, and Singhraj Adhana in men’s 10m air pistol SH1.

George, India’s first and only world championship medalist in athletics, holds a particular position in the country’s track and field history.

The two-time Olympian also holds the Indian national record in the women’s long jump. Her achievements are made even more extraordinary by the fact that she accomplished them all with only having one kidney.

When George won the bronze medal in the long jump at the 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris, she made history. She made history by becoming the first Indian athlete to win a medal at a World Championships in Athletics by leaping 6.70 meters. In 2002, she received the Arjuna Award, in 2003 the Khel Ratna, and in 2004 the Padma Shri.

At the 2004 Athens Olympics, she finished fifth with a personal best score of 6.83. George earned the BBC lifetime achievement award for the best athlete in India in March 2021.

 

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