The Tokyo Paralympics was a huge success for the Indian Paralympians. Indians enjoyed their best campaign in Tokyo as they won 19 medals including five elusive Gold medals. The history-making Paralympians were felicitated by the Paralympics Committee of India where PCI pledged that the Paris Paralympics will be even bigger for the country.
PCI’s main aim is to produce even more champion athletes and take the tally to 25 in the 2024 Paris Paralympics. Following India’s triumph at the Tokyo Paralympics, a gala dinner was hosted by PCI’s Accessibility partner Svayam to celebrate the extraordinary performances of the Indian para athletes.
The PCI pledges to start working immediately for the upcoming Paris Paralympics as they aim higher. “We are not going to waste any time. We will immediately finalise plans and start working with an aim to win at least 10 gold and 25 medals in Paris. That will put us between 10 to 15th position in the medal tally,” PCI Secretary-General Gursharan Singh told PTI.
“This time we competed in only nine sports and won medals in five sports. Our aim is to take part in 15 sports in Paris out of the 22 sports in Paralympics. That will ensure us more medals. So we have to diversify the number of sports,” he added.
Two shooters Avani Lekhara and Manish Narwal clinched gold at the Tokyo Paralympics. In athletics, Sumit Antil broke the world record thrice in sex attempts and won the gold medal. Whereas shutters Parmod Bhagat and Krishna Nagar bagged the other two gold medals.
PCI has assured that they have consulted with the government about increasing the funding for the Para athletes ahead of the Paris Paralympics. “We have been told by the ministry to submit a revised Annual Calendar for Training and Competitions (ACTC) and have assured us that there should not be any problem with allocating more funds,” Singh said.
“We have to hire foreign coaches and buy top-class equipment for our athletes. We will also focus on more para-athletics events in which we can win medals like wheelchair race and more track events.”
Lastly, PCI president Deepa Malik highlighted the importance of accessibility for para-athletes to help them improve their performance.
“Accessibility is one of the most important features of para-games. If we are able to make our grounds and stadiums accessible for our para-athletes, we will definitely get champion players,” Malik added.