On Teachers Day, para-badminton coach Gaurav Khanna elated with performance of India shuttlers at Paralympics

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Indian shuttlers claimed four medals, including two gold, a silver and a bronze, at the Paralympics where badminton made its debut this year.

“There can’t be a better gift than this. When I had got the Dronacharya award, I had a feeling which I couldn’t express but this Paralympics with these medals, the feeling is no less than that feeling. I’m overwhelmed,” Khanna, said during a virtual press conference.

Khanna was bestowed with the Dronacharya Award last year. “The targets have been achieved but I am a bit disappointed because I expected medals from Tarun (Dhillon) and Palak (Kohli). We will come back and take it as strong learning. If they had won the medals, then we could have delivered six medals.”

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Asked about the future plans, Khanna said: “I am feeling like as a coach, my exam is over, the session is over, so what’s next now? “The Olympic cycle is over, for the next Paralympic cycle, that is, for 2028, 2032 and 2036, we will have to look for youngsters. In few months, we will have Asian Youth Games, and I am hopeful we will produce good results.

“I am working on some new young and minor players like Palak, who is still young and has also performed outstandingly. I am sure the minor and young players will be in the limelight in few months time and shine like the Paralympic gold medallists.”

Khanna, who runs the Gaurav Khanna Excellia Badminton Academy (GKBA), said his academy has all the required facilities and it played a part in India winning so many medals.

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“We have all facilities, dedicated courts. Sometimes there are issues with recovery when you play at this level. But now we have sports science, steam bath, ice bath, hydro therapy, we have all. There has been a great bonding and our professional training have helped us to win the medals.”

On the final day of Paralympics, India bagged a gold and a silver medal in badminton. Krishna Nagar won a gold medal in the men’s singles SH6 category, while Suhas LY bagged a silver medal after going down fighting in the final.

(With PTI inputs)

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