India will win 15 medals at Tokyo Paralympics: Gursharan Singh
Gursharan Singh, India's Chef de Mission for the Tokyo Paralympics, believes the nation will have a wonderful run at the impending Tokyo Paralympics. As per him, India will finish with at least 15 medals, including five gold. Singh, who is the secretary general of the Paralympic Committee of India, was nominated as Team India's chef de mission at the AGM of the governing body.
"I am confident that this would be our best ever Paralympic Games. Our para-athletes have worked very hard in the past years and shown great results in international competitions. They are raring to go at the Games," Singh said. "We are expecting around 15 medals, including five gold at the Games. We have high medal hopes in athletics, badminton, shooting and archery."
India are set to field their largest-ever contingent at the Paralympics. As many as 54 athletes will compete across nine sports including Para Archery, Para Athletics, Para Badminton, Para Canoeing, Shooting Para sport, Para Swimming, Para Power-lifting, Para Table Tennis, and Para Taekwondo.
India made their Summer Paralympic debut in 1968. As of now, India have bagged a total of 12 medals in 11 Paralympic appearances (gold: 4, silver: 4, bronze: 4). India's best medal haul at the Paralympics came in 1984 and 2016 (four each). The nation have most medals in athletics (10) besides winning one each in swimming and power-lifting.
As reported by PTI, the first batch of Team India, led by PCI President Deepa Malik, has arrived in Tokyo. T Mariyappan, who is India's flag bearer at the Games, has also arrived in Tokyo. He won the gold medal in Rio (2016) in the men's high jump event. Mariyappan recently recorded a leap of 1.86m at the National selection trials.
India will have hopes from two-time champion Devendra Jhajharia (javelin throw). Sandeep Chaudhary and Navdeep Singh are other medal hopefuls in the event. World number one Pramod Bhagat will lead India's para badminton contingent. In archery, India will have the services of Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar (compound), Vivek Chikara and Harvinder Singh (recurve), and woman archer Jyoti Baliyan (compound individual/mixed event).
Earlier this month, India claimed their best-ever tally of medals in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Javelin Thrower Neeraj Chopra clinched only the second gold medal (individual) for India at Olympics. This extended the tally to seven, making it the country's best performance. Their previous-best medal haul came in the 2012 London Olympics, where they racked up six.