Rio de Janeiro is all set to be the center of attention again, as the Paralympic Games get underway on 7 September. For fans in India, the Rio Olympics were a topsy-turvy ride, with the 118-member team coming back with one silver, one bronze and sadly, one four-year ban.
And so as the fever of Sindhu’s silver and Sakshi Malik’s bronze has already begun to fade, it’s time to focus on the para-athletes who have braved incredible odds to get to the Paralympics.
Represented by their largest ever contingent, India will hope for an improved medals tally when the Paralympic Games start today.
A total of 19 Indian athletes will feature in 10 disciplines at the Games which will be held September 7-18. The Sports Ministry announced on Tuesday that the Indian gold medallists from the Paralympic Games will be awarded Rs.75 lakh, the silver medallists will get Rs.50 lakh while Rs.30 lakh will be given to the bronze medallists.
Among the Indian athletes, javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia, who became India’s first Paralympic gold medallist in Athens 2004, will be taking part in his fourth edition and will hope to finish on the podium this time as well. The 2016 Paralympics will see as many as 4,300 athletes competing for medals in 23 disciplines.
Apart from archery, athletics, boccia, cycling, para canoe, equestrian, football (five-a-side, seven-a-side), goalball, judo, para-triathlon, powerlifting, rowing, sailing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair tennis, wheelchair rugby, which featured in the previous edition as well, canoe-kayak and triathlon will make their debut at this year’s Paralympics.
India has so far won a total of eight medals at the Paralympic Games, including two gold, three silver and three bronze. Of these, one gold, three silver and and two bronze medals have come in athletics while swimming and powerlifting have yielded a gold and a bronze respectively.
Here is the list of 19 athletes who will represent the nation in Rio :
- Amit Kumar Saroha – Club throw
- Devendra Jhajaria – Javelin throw
- Mariyappan Thangavelu – High jump
- Sundar Singh Gurjar – Javelin throw
- Dharambir – Club throw
- Deepa Malik – Shot put
- Karamjyoti Dalal – Discus throw
- Ankur Dhama – 1500m
- Basha Farman – Powerlifting
- Rinku – Javelin Throw
- Narendra Ranbir – Javelin Throw
- Suyash Narayan Jadhav – Swimming
- Virender Dhankar – Shotput, Javelin throw
- Rampal Chahar – High jump
- Sandeep – Javelin throw
- Sharad Kumar – High jump
- Pooja Rani – Archery
- Naresh Kumar Sharma – Shooting
- Varun Singh Bhati – High Jump