As Paralympics 2021 are around the corner, let’s dive into the pride of our nation — the women parathletes who are set to compete in Paralympics 2021.
Ekta Bhyan, Para Club & Discus Throw-
Ekta Bhyan, an Asian Games medallist is among the most high profile Indian athletes and one of the strongest contenders at the Paralympics. An accident in 2003 bound Ekta to a wheelchair but her aspiration and spirit were made to reach heights. She cleared the Haryana Civil Services exam and indulged herself in sports and there was no looking back after that. She has won medals for India in the Asian Games, IPC Grand Prix series and national championships. She is the only disabled woman athlete to gain a quota for India through her fourth-place finish in club throw at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.
Aruna Tanwar, Para Taekwondo-
Aruna Tanwar, a 21-year-old girl will make history as the first Para-Taekwondo player to represent India in the Tokyo Paralympics. Para-Taekwondo makes its debut in the Paralympics this year. Aruna from Bhiwani, Haryana, was born with three fingers in each hand and arms that are not fully developed. Society functions on the prejudices and stigmas around disability but that didn’t stop Arunato from embracing a life she dreamt for herself and her hard work and dedication led her to represent her country in the Paralympics. This five-time national champion has consistently accomplished medals at the Asian Para-Taekwondo Championships and World Para-Taekwondo Championships.
Palak Kohli, Para Badminton-
There is no age for talent and 18 years old Palak Kohli is an exemplary example of that. Kholi is a prodigy of the Indian Para-Badminton. Palak is the youngest Para badminton player in the world to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. Palak has not had a fully developed arm since birth. Under the able supervision of Gaurav Khanna, India’s Para-badminton coach, Palak metamorphosed from a rookie player to a preeminent player in the highly competing Indian Para badminton.
Parul Parmar, Para Badminton-
The scenes of Para-Badminton doubles will be exhilarating to watch as India’s two para-athletes with 31 years of age difference will team up for the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles event making its debut in the Tokyo Paralympics. Parul is 49 years old and has magnificent on-court compatibility with Palak. This fact can be drawn from the fact that they have won four international titles and a reputation as one of the top pairs in the world Para badminton. Parul was diagnosed with poliomyelitis when she was three years old. She also sustained injuries and fractures to her leg & collar bone as a child which took a long time to heal.
Pooja Agarwal, Para Shooter-
It seems there is no stopping for Champion Para-shooter Pooja Agarwal. The star shooter is all set to deliver remarkable performance in the upcoming Paralympics after a striking display of her skills at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Peru earlier this month. She has added two silver medals to her long list of victories. 35-year-old Agarwal is a manager at Indian Bank alongside a global para shooting star. A remarkable journey for a woman who underwent a trilateral amputation after an accident in 2012. This disabled woman athlete from India has acquired a global reputation as a sharpshooter who stands up to any challenge.
Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel, Para Table Tennis-
Para-table tennis player Bhavina Patel is the first-ever Indian competitor in the table tennis event in the Paralympics. Bhavina is ranked world number. 8 in the women’s class four disciplines. She is an international table tennis star who has many gold and silver medals in national and international competitions to her name. Bhavina is wheelchair-bound but that has never stopped her from marking her position in the world of sports. She reached the world number 2 rank by winning a silver medal in the individual category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship in 2011.
The determination, not letting anything define their successful journey other than their hard work and spirit to keep going make these exceptional women an inspiration to hundreds of women. They are the guiding light to many young disabled sportspeople trying to leave their mark.