India recorded its best-ever showing in the Asian Para Games by bagging 72 medals, including 15 gold, with the shuttlers adding two yellow metals and three bronze on the concluding day of competitions here Saturday. With 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze medals, India was placed ninth in the overall tally.
China finished on top with 172 gold, 88 silver and 59 bronze for a whopping total of 319 medals. South Korea (53, 45, 47) and Iran (51, 42, 43) were second and third respectively. This was India’s best ever performance, bettering the last edition (2014) tally of 33 medals (3 gold, 14 silver, 16 bronze).
All of India’s five medals on Saturday came from badminton. In men’s singles SL3 class badminton, Pramod Bhagat defeated Ukun Rukaendi of Indonesia 21-19 15-21 21-14 to clinch the gold medal.
Athletes in the SL3 category generally have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking or running balance. Athletes with cerebral palsy, bilateral polio or loss of both legs below the knee compete in half-court (lenghtwise) to minimise the impact of their impairment. Tarun added another gold for India on the final day of the event by beating Yuyang Gao of China 21-16 21-6 in the men’s singles SL4 class.
The SL4 class athletes have a lesser impairment compared to SL 3 and play full-court. Players with impairment in one or both lower limbs, unilateral polio or mild cerebral palsy fall in SL4 category.
The bronze winning shuttlers were Manoj Sarkar (men’s singles SL3), men’s doubles SL3-SL4 pairs of Manoj Sarkar and Pramod Bhagat, and Ananda Kumar Gowda and Nitesh Kumar.
Para-athletics gave India half of the medals (36) with seven gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze. Badminton and chess contributed nine medals each while para-swimming gave eight medals.