India sends largest ever contingent of shuttlers to 2019 Thailand Para Badminton International
The Thailand Para Badminton International 2019 is underway and India has sent a 65-member contingent of players. This is a huge presence and a sign of the growing popularity of para badminton in India. India is making its presence felt at the Thailand Para Badminton International 2019, among the qualifying events for the 2020 Paralympics. For the first time, a 65-member contingent is taking part, the largest India has ever sent.
The Thailand event is among the qualifying events of the Paralympics and the strength of the Indian contingent shows how far we have come in para badminton. There are many new players here for the first time, as well as junior and senior level players. India's databank of players is growing and that is a matter of great pride. - Gaurav Khanna, Head Coach, Indian Para badminton
Among the senior players at the Thailand event is Krishna Nagar from Rajasthan. Krishna put up a superb performance at the 2nd Fazza Dubai Para Badminton International Championships in April this year upsetting world number one Jack Shepherd in the men's singles SS6 semi finals and later world number two Krysten Coombs from England. Remarkable for someone who started playing badminton only in 2018.
Krishna won his first medal at the 2018 Thailand championship and hopes to make his mark again. "We have been training quite intensively in Lucknow for the Thailand event and looking ahead to the world championship. Apart from stroke selection, we have been focusing on physical fitness too".
Among the promising female players in the junior category in Thailand is Palak Kohli who won three gold medals in her debut national event this year and went on to make her mark in Uganda. "I won two international medals at the Uganda Para Badminton International Tournament 2019 in April - a gold medal in women's doubles and a silver in women's singles. "My short-term goal is to qualify for Paralympics 2020, and I have been undergoing a hectic schedule focusing on training schedule, diet charts, morning and evening sessions, weight training etc. For 2024 and further, its only GOLD in Olympics".
With this kind of passion and commitment, Indian para shuttlers are sure to keep shining.