India's most successful Paralympic campaign in numbers

With some stunning displays over the past two weeks, Indian athletes surpassed the country’s best ever Paralympics medal tally with 19 medals.

Indian Para-Athletes at the closing ceremony, Image credit: Twitter
By Amruth Kalidas | Sep 7, 2021 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Tokyo Paralympic Games came to an end with a glittering closing ceremony. A total of 162 countries competed in the global sporting event for the disabled, including six nations that made their Paralympics debut. The Tokyo Paralympics was held under the cloud of covid-19 and the Taliban’s invasion of Afghanistan but managed to be quite a spectacle of some inspiring performances and a very limited number of controversies. As far as India is concerned, it was the country’s most successful campaign in the Paralympics and they have more than doubled their overall medal tally, which was was there before the start of the quadrennial event. Here, we look at the Indian Paralympics campaign in numbers.

54 participants

India sent its biggest ever contingent in history to Tokyo. The Indian team consisted of a total of 54 athletes spread across nine different sports. From the country’s representation in debut sports badminton and taekwondo, the Indian athletes shone brightly during the past couple of weeks in Tokyo.

24th in Medal Tally

India finished a commendable 24th in the medal tally. This was India’s best-ever finish on the medal table and a massive jump from the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games where the country finished at 43rd position. India had won a total of 12 Paralympic medals in history. The Indian athletes surpassed that, winning a total of 19 medals in Tokyo.

17 medallists

A total of 17 athletes won medals for India in Tokyo, which is 31.48% of the entire contingent the country had sent.

8 Silver medals

India returned from Tokyo with a total of 8 silver medals across sports. The silver medallists includes Devendra Jhajharia, Mariyappan Thangavelu, Bhavina Patel, Nishad Kumar, Suhas Yathiraj, Singhraj Adhana, Yogesh Khatuniya, and Praveen Kumar.

8 Medals in High Jump, Badminton

India won 8 medals in high jump and badminton. The high jumpers who won medals include Mariyappan Thangavelu, Sharad Kumar, Nishad Kumar, and Praveen Kumar. On the other hand, the shuttlers who clinched medals were Pramod Bhagat, Krishna Nagar, Suhas Yathiraj, and Manoj Sarkar.

6 Bronze medals

From a total of 19 medals won by India, six were third-placed finishes. Sundar Singh Gurjar, Singhraj Adhana, Avani Lekhara, Sharad Kumar, Manoj Sarkar, and Harvinder Singh clinched the brown metal in Tokyo.

6 Near Misses

India had 6 fourth-place finishes at the Tokyo Paralympics. Swaroop Unhalkar (10m Air Rifle SH1), Tarun Dhillon (Singles SL4), Navdeep (Javelin F41), Sandeep Chaudhary (Javelin F64), Soman Rana (Shot Put F57), and Pramod Bhagat-Palak Kohli (Mixed Doubles SL3-SU5) ended fourth in their respective events.

5 Gold Medals

India won a total of 5 gold medals in Tokyo Paralympics. Avani Lekhara, Manish Narwal, Krishna Nagar, Pramod Bhagat, and Sumit Antil were crowned Paralympic Champions in Tokyo.

5 Medals in Shooting

India won a whopping 5 medals in Shooting at the Tokyo Paralympics. While Manish Narwal bagged gold in Mixed 50m Pistol, Avani Lekhara and Singhraj Adhana won two medals each.

First medals in 4 sports

India won their first Paralympics medal in 4 sports – Table Tennis, Badminton, Shooting, and Archery.

3 Medals in Javelin

3 out of the eight Indian javelin throwers clinched medals at Tokyo Paralympics. This includes gold from Sumit Antil, silver, and bronze each from Devendra Jhajharia and Sundar Singh Gurjar, respectively.

2 World Records

The Indian athletes set two World Records during their campaign in Tokyo. While Sumit Antil set a new World Record in Men’s F64 Javelin Throw, Avani Lekhara equalled it in the Women’s 10m Air Rifle SH1 Final.

2 Paralympic Records

India also set two Paralympics records during their campaign in Tokyo. The World Record that Avani Lekhara equalled was also a Paralympic Record, while Manish Narwal set a Paralympic Record in Mixed 50m Pistol Final.

2 Asian Records

2 of the 54 Indian athletes set a continental record in their respective categories. While Nishad Kumar set an Asia Record in Men’s T47 High Jump, Praveen Kumar followed it with an Asia Record T44 category.

2 double medallists

2 Indian medallists returned with more than one medal from Tokyo – the first time in India’s Olympic or Paralympic history. While Avani Lekhara clinched a gold and a bronze, Singhraj Adhana bagged a bronze and a silver.

1 Medal Stripped

Indian athlete, Vinod Kumar was stripped of his medal after he was found ineligible to play in the category he won a medal in. Vinod was put ‘in review’ following his classification before the Paralympics began, and was later found ineligible to compete in F52 Discus Throw.