Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) president Deepa Malik has drawn an interesting comparison between the Indian para contingents 19-medal haul and a youngster coming out of his teens.
On Sunday, India ended the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with 19 medals — five gold, eight silver and six bronze — a dramatic and historic rise for the country that had collected only 12 medals while participating in 11 editions of the Games from 1968 till 2016.
Deepak Malik, who won the shot put F53 silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics and is the top office-bearer of the PCI now, tweeted, “Indian para-sports were in infancy till Rio2016. Now we have reached the last of our teens-NINETEEN it is @Tokyo2020. We’ll enter adulthood by 2024 & be stronger! Thank u for holding our hand in our baby steps. Love & gratitude from @ParalympicIndia to entire country and our Host #Tokyo.”
Within hours of the comment being posted by Deepa, it had been shared more than 600 times and received thousands of likes.
There were many more who were left amazed by the Indian Paralympic contingent’s performance, with former hockey player Viren Rasquinha tweeting, “To go from 4 medals at Rio to 19 medals at Tokyo requires massive efforts and meticulous preparation. These medals are won every single day at 5.30am when no one is watching. @ParalympicIndia have been magnificent.”
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar congratulated the medal winners on Sunday, tweeting his congratulations to shuttlers Krishna Nagar and Suhas Yathiraj, “Congratulations to @Krishnanagar99 & @suhasly on winning First place medal & Second place medal respectively in #badminton! Our performance this year at the #Paralympics has been nothing short of a fairytale & it is just the beginning. More power to our para athletes! #Praise4Para.”
Krishna Nagar in Men’s Singles SH6 class, won India’s lone gold medal on Sunday, storming back after losing the second game to beat Hong Kong China’s Chu Man Kai 21-17, 16-21, 21-17. Suhas Yathiraj claimed a silver medal as he went down fighting to France’s world No 1 Lucas Mazur in three well-fought games in the final of the Men’s Singles SL4 class.
India finished 24th among 162 nations in the overall medals tally on the basis of gold medal count, while it was placed 20th based on the number of medals (19) it won.