Indian shooters, archers leave for Paralympics

New Delhi [India]: Twenty-eight members of the Indian contingent, including athletes and officials, left for Tokyo Paralympic Games on Monday from Indira Gandhi International Airport here.

The contingent which left for Tokyo consists of shooting and archery group. The Paralympic Games are scheduled to be held between August 24 and September 5.

The shooting contingent has 17 members including 10 shooters. It is the biggest shooting contingent that the country has ever sent to the Para Games.

Manish Narwal, Deepender Singh, Singhraj, Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar, Deepak Saini, Sidhartha Babu, Akash, Rahul Jhakar, Rubina Francis, and Avani Lekhara are the Indian athletes who have qualified for para shooting in Tokyo 2020.

Manish Narwal, Rubina Francis and Rahul Jakhar have not only just qualified but also have set world records during the qualification tournaments.

Avani Lekhara has been in tremendous form and has qualified for all four wheelchair Rifle events. Singhraj has shown consistent form during the recently held World Cups in Peru and in UAE while Rahul Jakhar, Deepender Singh, Sidharth Babu, Swaroop Unhalkar and Akash have good international exposure and also have proved their mettle at the top level.
India had disheartening results in the shooting during the Olympic Games when none of the shooters could win a medal for the country.

Jay Prakash Nautiyal, head coach of the shooting contingent, said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his interaction with para-athletes, gave precious advice that the players should not play under any pressure.

“We don’t want to put any pressure on any of the shooters. Our Olympians tried their best but it was not their day. Our para shooters have been practising very hard at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range, New Delhi. We have done everything possible and what was in our hands. Now it all depends how our shooters react on that specific day,” he said.

Apart from shooting, five archers and coach Kuldeep Vedwan today left the country with high hopes.
In archery, Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara will represent India in men’s recurve individual while Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar Swami will lock horns in men’s compound individual. Jyoti Baliyan will feature in the women’s compound event at the Tokyo Paralympics Games.

Swimmer Suyash Jadhav, who has also left for Tokyo, will be contesting in Men’s 50-meter butterfly S7 category. Ranjit Bhati, who is participating in the F57 category javelin, was also part of a 28-member contingent.

As many as 54 athletes from India will be competing in sports disciplines including Archery, Athletics (Track and Field), Badminton, Swimming, Shooting and Weightlifting.

This is the biggest-ever contingent India has sent to any Paralympics.
Meanwhile, discus thrower Vinod Kumar and javelin thrower Tek Chand are among the five Indian athletes who will attend the Tokyo Paralympics opening ceremony. Thangavelu Mariyappan, Rio 2016 gold medal winner, will be the flag bearer of India at the opening ceremony.

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