Tokyo Paralympics: Inspiring Stories Of India’s Women Fighting All Odds

Tokyo Paralympics 2020 are off to a great start. India has won 7 medals so far, with some outstanding performances by our athletes. 54 Indian athletes are competing from 25th August to 6th September 2021 across nine sports. All of them have overcome several hurdles and today, make our country proud.

In the spirit of celebration, here are Indian women athletes competing in the games, two of whom have already won a medal each:

Archery

Jyoti Balan is the only female archer at Tokyo Paralympics and India’s biggest medal prospect. She hails from Muzaffarnagar and has been practicing archery since 12 years.

Badminton

Palak Kohli is an Indian professional Para-badminton player from Jalandhar. She won a silver medal in the World para-badminton competition in Dubai. She is the only para badminton athlete from the country to qualify for both singles and women’s doubles for Tokyo Paralympics 2021.

Parul Dalsukhbhai Parmar is an Indian para-badminton player from Gujarat. She had been ranked world number one in para-badminton women’s singles SL3. She won the golds in women’s singles and doubles at the 2017 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships. Parmar was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2009 by the Government of India and Eklavya Award by the Government of Gujarat.

Para Canoeing

Gwalior’s Prachi Yadav becomes the first Indian paracanoe athlete to qualify for Tokyo Paralympics 2020. Prachi was a former champion para-swimmer for India, but switched to para canoe after her coach suggested because she had a better chance of getting to Paralympics.

Powerlifting

Sakina Khatun, who hails from Bangalore, is an Indian powerlifter who won bronze medal in Weightlifting at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. She was selected for the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and finished 3rd in the women’s weightlifting category (up to 61 kg) after lifting a total weight of 88.2 kg.

Table Tennis

Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel is a Para table tennis player from Mehsana, Gujarat and uses a wheelchair. She won the Silver Medal for India in The Individual Category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship held in 2011. In October 2013, she won the silver medal in the women’s singles Class 4 at the Asian Para table tennis championships in Beijing. She also won the bronze medal in the International Table Tennis Federation Asian Para Table Tennis Championship in Beijing, China.

Bhavina made the country proud by winning a silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics 2020.

Taekwondo

Aruna Tanwar is an Indian Para Taekwondo athlete. She is currently World Rank 4th in the W-49 kg | K43 | and World Rank 30th in the W-49 kg | K44 event category of World Para Taekwondo Events. She became the first Indian Taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics Olympic Games on the allocation of a bi-partite invitation spot, where the Taekwondo Paralympic event will be featured for the first time.

Shooting

Avani Lekhara, who hails from Jaipur, is an Indian Para Rifle Shooter. She is currently World No 5 in Women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1 (World Shooting Para Sport Rankings) and she also participated in the 2018 Asian Para Games R2 — Women’s 10M Air Rifle Standing, R3 — Mixed 10M Air Rifle Prone, R6 — Mixed 50M Rifle Prone and R8 — Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Position (SH1 Events).

Today, Avani is the country’s first Paralympic gold medal winning athlete. Her win at Tokyo 2020 is truly historical.

Rubina Francis, who hails from Jabalpur, is an Indian para pistol shooter. She is currently ranked number five by the International Shooting Sport Federation in Women’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 (World Shooting Para Sport Rankings) and she also participated in the 2018 Asian Para GamesP2 — Women’s 10M Air Pistol (SH1 Events).

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