Indian para-badminton coach promises 5 medals at Tokyo Paralympics

The Tokyo Paralympics, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starts on August 24.

Indian para-badminton coach, Gaurav Khanna on Saturday, promised a rich haul of medals from the seven-member badminton team which flies off for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics.

Badminton, which will make its debut at the Paralympic Games, will have India’s brightest medal prospects in the likes of Pramod Bhagat (SL3), Krishna Nagar (SH6) and Tarun Dhillon (SL4). The experienced Parul Parmar and the young Palak Kohli (SL3-SU5) will participate in the women’s category.

Palak, who will be pairing up with Parmar, a two-time former world championship gold medallist, for the SL3-SU5 women’s doubles event, said she is focussed on her preparation for the games.

“There will be pressure in the Paralympics as I will play three events in a day. But I have prepared well under my coach. So my complete focus has been on my preparation and I’m confident of my performance,” the 18-year-old said.

Exuding confidence, Khanna, a Dronacharya awardee, said, “We have a very strong team representing the country at the Paralympics. Out of the six best players of the world selected for the Paralympics, two are Indians. Two from SL3 and two from SL4 category in men’s singles.”

“So I am pretty sure our players will bring medals and a realistic expectation will be a minimum of five medals. We are going to get five medals, including three golds, for the country,” he added.

The team also comprises Suhas L. Yathiraj (SL4) and Manoj Sarkar (SL3), who qualified after the Badminton World Federation (BWF) granted two bipartite quotas to the country.

The Tokyo Paralympics, which was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, starts on August 24.

A 54-member Indian team for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics was on Thursday given a warm send-off by Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and the national governing body.

India will compete in nine events.

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