Shyam Vasudevan4 minutes of reading
Two weeks after the country’s most successful Asian Games performance, Indian para-athletes will look to follow suit at the Hangzhou Asian Para Games to be held from October 22 to 28.
India is fielding its largest ever contingent of 303 athletes – 191 men and 112 women – for what promises to be a medal-laden competition. The likes of Pramod Bhagat, Ekta Bhyan and Suyash Jadhav will be looking to defend their titles, while Tokyo Paralympic gold medalists Avani Lekhara and Sumit Antil will be looking to make a mark at the Asian Para Games.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the 2022 Asian Para Games campaign in India –
How did India perform at the 2018 Asian Para Games?
India sent 190 athletes to the 2018 Asian Para Games and finished ninth in the medal tally with 15 gold medals and a total of 72 medals. This was India’s best finish at the Asian Para Games, a strong improvement on the 33 medals won in the 2014 edition.
Is #IssBaarSauPaar possible?
Can this contingent break the 100-medal barrier that was such a marker of progress two weeks ago? In fact, the probability is high. This time, India will be participating in 17 events, the largest number of sports they have ever had, and will compete in canoeing, blind football, bowling, rowing and taekwondo for the first time. With a bunch of reigning Olympic, World and Asian champions, the Indian para contingent is set to return with a record number of medals. India’s chances will be boosted by the fact that 51 of the 54 athletes who participated in the Tokyo Paralympics are also part of this contingent, they will not fear a stage.
Who are the big names to watch out for at the 2022 Asian Para Games?
Let’s start with Paralympic and world champion Sumit. He is the best javelin thrower in the world in the F64 category and is also a world record holder – he threw 70.83m to win the World Para Athletics Championships this year. Also look out for javelin thrower Ajeet Singh in the F46 category where he is the defending world champion.
Para shooter Manish Narwal recently added the world title to his Paralympic gold medal haul [P1 – men’s 10m air pistol SH1] and will look to continue his rich form at the Para-Asian Games, as will Avani. The 21-year-old Paralympic gold medalist rewrote the world record to win the women’s 10m SH1 air rifle standing at the 2022 Para Shooting World Cup.
India’s para-shuttle ace Pramod Bhagat will be looking to retain his title. The 35-year-old is ranked No. 2 in the world in singles and doubles and has also won singles gold at the 2022 World Championships. Table tennis player Bhavinaben Patel, who won silver at the Tokyo Paralympics, enters the Para Asian Games , after winning gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Some of the other top names to watch out for include high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu [2016 Paralympics gold (T42) and silver in 2021 (T63)] and Nishad Kumar [2023 Worlds silver with an Asian Record (T47)] and para-swimmer Suyash Jadhav [the first Indian para-swimmer to win an Asian Para Games gold in the men’s 50m Butterfly – S7].
Are there any defending champions in the Indian team?
Oh yes, 13 of the 15 Indians who won gold in the previous editions will defend their titles at the 2022 Asian Para Games –
Pramod Bhagat [Men’s Singles SL3]
Ekta Bhayan [Women’s Club Throw F32/51]
Suyash Jadhav [Men’s 50M Butterfly S7 (6-7)]
Manish Narwal [P1 – Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 and P4 – Mixed 50m Pistol SH1]
Harvinder Singh [Men’s Individual Recurve Open – W2/ST]
Parmar hair [Women’s Singles SL3]
Kishan Ganguly [Men’s Individual Rapid VI – B2/B3]
Amit Kumar [Men’s Club Throw F51]
Tarun Dhillon [Men’s Singles SL4]
Neeraj Yadav [Men’s Javelin Throw F55]
Sandeep Chaudhary [Men’s Javelin Throw F42-44/61-64]
Rakshita Raju [Women’s 1500M T11]
Narayan Thakur [Men’s 100m T35]
Where can I watch the 2022 Asian Para Games in India?
Indian viewers can watch the 2022 Asian Para Games live FanCode.