Sports Minister felicitates triumphant Paralympians, hopes for better show in 2024

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The
Indian
para-athletes
registered
their
best-ever
performance
in
the
Tokyo
Games
by
winning
an
unprecedented
19
medals,
including
five
gold,
eight
silver
and
six
bronze.

Shooters
Avani
Lekhara
(gold
and
bronze)
and
Singhraj
Adana
(silver
and
bronze)
were
the
ones
to
finish
on
the
podium
twice.
“It
was
my
dream
to
win
a
medal
for
my
country
and
I
had
trained
hard
for
it.
Has
it
sunk
in?
not
yet.
I
am
so
happy
and
grateful,”
said
the
19-year-old
Lekhara,
who
became
the
first
Indian
woman
to
win
a
Paralympic
gold.

Thakur
lauded
her
and
all
others
who
finished
on
the
podium,
presenting
them
with
mementos
to
honour
their
feats.

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“I
recall
in
the
2016
Paralympics,
the
size
of
the
Indian
contingent
was
19,
while
this
year
the
country
has
won
as
many
as
19
medals.
You
have
shown
us
that
the
human
spirit
is
the
most
powerful
of
all,”
Thakur
said
at
the
function
where
the
medal-winners
were
given
a
standing
ovation.

“Our
medal
tally
has
increased
by
about
five
times.
For
the
first
time
we
have
won
medals
in
table
tennis
and
archery,
competed
for
the
first
time
in
canoeing
and
powerlifting.
We
equalled
two
world
records
and
we
broke
even
more.
India’s
para
athletes
delivered
a
perfect
podium
finish,”
he
added.

He
offered
government’s
full
support
to
the
athletes.
“The
government’s
approach
in
extending
support
to
athletes
for
international
competitions
has
undergone
a
transformational
change.
The
government
will
continue
to
support
India’s
paralympians
with
facilities
and
funding
so
that
they
may
continue
to
excel
internationally.

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“We’d
like
to
encourage
more
regional
and
national
tournaments
for
our
paralympians
so
they
can
regularly
compete
and
hone
their
skills,”
said
Thakur.

The
function
was
also
attended
by
Thakur’s
predecessor
and
current
Law
and
Justice
Minister
Kiren
Rijiju
and
Minister
of
State
for
Sports
Nisith
Pramanik
among
others.

Also
present
on
the
occasion
were
Sports
Secretary
Ravi
Mittal,
Sports
Authority
of
India
Director
General
Sandip
Pradhan,
Paralympic
Committee
of
India
President
Deepa
Malik.
Malik
thanked
the
government
for
constant
support.

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India
had
sent
a
54-strong
contingent
to
the
Games,
the
country’s
biggest
ever.

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