Parasports June 28, 2021
India at Paralympics 2021 – Meet the disabled women athletes looking to make the country proud
From Para badminton to Para Taekwondo, a number of disabled Indian women athletes are raring to show their mettle at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics. These athletes with disabilities have overcome incredible odds and are looking at achieve that podium finish at the Tokyo Games.
Fit. Fierce. Awesome. Words that do justice to the contingent of disabled women athletes from India looking to make their mark at the Tokyo Paralympics. The Covid pandemic may have set them back by a year, but they have continued to train and prepare despite the lockdown restrictions and are keen and hungry to make that podium finish.
Here’s a look at some of the disabled women athletes from India who are headed for Paralympics 2021.
Aruna Tanwar, Para Taekwondo
21-year-old Aruna Tanwar has made it to history books as the first Para Taekwondo player to represent India in the Tokyo Paralympics. The sport makes its debut in the Paralympics this year. This young girl from Bhiwani, Haryana, was born with three fingers in each hand and arms that are not fully formed. She got plenty of strange looks from people around her due to her disability but Aruna doesn’t care because she has achieved her dream of representing her country in the Paralympics. This five-time national champion has consistently attained a podium finish at the Asian Para Taekwondo Championships and World Para Taekwondo Championships.
Ekta Bhyan, Para Club & Discus Throw
This Asian Games medallist is among the most high profile Indian athletes and is a strong contender at the Paralympics. Ekta became a wheelchair user after an accident in 2003. She cleared the Haryana Civil Services exam and embraced sports when she got the opportunity. She has won medals for India in the Asian Games, IPC Grand Prix series and national championships. She is the only disabled woman athlete to earn a quota for India through her fourth place finish in club throw at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
Pooja Agarwal, Para Shooter
Champion Para-shooter Pooja Agarwal is on a roll after her stunning performance at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Peru earlier this month. She added two silver medals to her long list of victories. This 35-year-old Indian Bank manager has represented India at many global events. A remarkable journey for a woman who underwent a trilateral amputation after an accident in 2012. This disabled woman athlete from India has acquired a global reputation as a sharpshooter who stands up to any challenge.
Palak Kohli, Para Badminton
She is 18 years old and is the wonder-kid on the Indian Para Badminton scene. Palak is the youngest Para badminton player in the world to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. Palak does not have a full developed arm – a condition she’s had from birth. Under the able guidance of Gaurav Khanna, India’s Para-badminton coach, Palak transitioned from a rookie player to becoming a leading player in the highly competitive space of Indian Para badminton
Parul Parmar, Para Badminton
Age and disability is no bar proves Parul Parmar, who will team up with Palak for the for the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles event that is making its debut in the Tokyo Paralympics. Parul, who is 49 years old, has a wonderful understanding on the court with Palak, which explains the four international titles they have won and their reputation as one of the top pairs in world Para badminton. Parul was diagnosed with with poliomyelitis when she was three years old. She also fell as a child which resulted in fractures to her leg and collar bone, which took a long time to heal.
Bhavina Patel, Para Table Tennis
Ranked world number 8 in the women’s class four discipline, Para-table tennis player Bhavina Patel is the first ever Indian competitor in the table tennis event in the Paralympics. Bhavina has never let disability define her life. She plays table tennis on her wheelchair and has won many gold and silver medals in national and international competitions. She reached the world number 2 rank by winning a silver medal in the individual category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship in 2011.
Keep an eye out for these disabled Indian women athletes who are looking to make the tricolour fly high come 24 August when the Tokyo Paralympics officially begin!
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