India won 19 medals in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, including five gold, eight silver, and six bronze, marking a spectacular and historic rise for a country that had only won 12 medals in 11 previous editions of the Games between 1968 and 2016.
On the final day of the Paralympics, India won two medals in badminton, a gold and a silver, and finished 24th out of 162 nations in the total medal tally based on gold medal count, and 20th based on the number of medals it won (19).
Krishna Nagar won India’s lone gold medal in the Men’s Singles SH6 division on Sunday, rallying from a game down to overcome Hong Kong. Chu Man Kai of China won 21-17, 16-21, 21-17. It was India’s second gold medal on the badminton courts in Tokyo, and their fifth overall.
Suhas Yathiraj won a silver medal in the Men’s Singles SL4 class after losing in three hard-fought games to Lucas Mazur of France, the world No. 1.
Yathiraj, an IAS officer currently serving as the District Magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, stunned the three-time World Champion Frenchman in the first game and had comfortable leads in the second and third, but Mazur was too experienced and skilled and came back from a game down to win the gold medal 15-21, 21-17, 21-15 in just over an hour.
India had hoped to win five medals in para-badminton; however Tarun Dhillion was defeated in the bronze medal match. Pramod Bhagat and Palak Kohli, the scratch mixed doubles couple who had never practised together until a month before the Paralympic Games, were beaten 21-23, 19-21 in two close games by Japan’s Fujihara Daisuke and Akiko Sugino.
Dhillon, the second Indian in the SL4 class, failed to recover from a three-game loss to Mazur on Saturday, losing tamely 21-17, 21-11 to Indonesia’s Fredy Seitiawan to miss out on a bronze medal. Dhillon was the SL4 class’s second seed, behind Mazur, and was expected to face him in the final. However, a loss against Seitiawan in the Group Stage dropped him to second place in the standings, forcing him to play top seed Mazur in the semifinal.
Sidhartha Babu almost missed a spot in the final of the R6 – Mixed 50m Air Rifle Prone SH1 at the Asaka Shooting Range by 0.2 points. Babu finished ninth in qualifying with a score of 617.2 points, while China’s Dong Chao finished eighth and last with a score of 617.4 points.
Avani Lekhara finished 28th among the Indians with a score of 612 points, while Deepak Kumar finished 46th with a score of 602.2 points.
India finished the Paralympic Games shooting competition with five medals: two gold, one silver, and two bronze. Two gold medals went to Lekhara and Manish Narwal, while silver and bronze went to Singhraj Adhana. The other bronze medal went to Avani.
India sent its largest-ever contingent of 54 para-athletes to Tokyo, where they competed in nine sports, including badminton and taekwondo, both of which were debuting in Tokyo.