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India registers best-ever showing at Asian Para Games

At the third Asian Para Games, India registered their best-ever medal showing with a total of 72 medals – 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze. It placed India 9th in the medal tally with China finishing top with a total of 318 medals. South Korea (144), Iran (136), Japan (198), hosts Indonesia (135), Uzbekistan (77), Thailand (105), Malaysia (68) and Hong Kong (48) make up the top ten.

During the 2010 Asian para Games, India won just 14 medals (1 gold, 4 silver and 9 bronze) and at the 2014 Asian Para Games, India upped the tally to 33 medals (3 gold, 14 silver and 16 bronze). With the 72 medals, India have more than doubled their count from the 2014 event at Incheon, South Korea.

On the final day, in men’s singles SL3 class badminton, Pramod Bhagat defeated Ukun Rukaendi of Indonesia 21-19 15-21 21-14 to clinch the gold medal. Athletes in the SL3 category generally have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking or running balance. Athletes with cerebral palsy, bilateralpolio or loss of both legs below the knee compete in half-court (lenghtwise) to minimise the impact of their impairment.

Para shuttler Tarun added another gold for India on the final day by beating Yuyang Gao of China 21-16 21-6 in the men’s singles SL4 class. The SL4 class athletes have a lesser impairment compared to SL 3 and play full-court. Players with impairment in one or both lower limbs, unilateral polio or mild cerebral palsy fall in SL4 category.

India won medals in Archery (1), Badminton (9), Chess (9), Cycling (1), Para athletics (36), Para powerlifting (3), Para shooting (3), Para swimming (8) and Table Tennis (1). 50 male athletes and 22 female athletes won medals at the Games. India had representation of 190 para athletes in 13 sports at the Games in Jakarta.