In what is a proud moment for the country, India recorded its best-ever showing at the 2018 Asian Para Games. With 72 podium finishes, India has claimed 15 gold, 24 silver and 33 bronze medals in total and were placed ninth in the overall rankings.
The performance at this year's games was definitely a couple of notches higher, in comparison to the 2014 edition, wherein India won 33 medals (3 gold, 14 silver, 16 bronze).
India’s Pramod Bhagat defeated Ukun Rukaendi of Indonesia 21-19 15-21 21-14 to clinch the gold medal in the men’s singles SL3 class badminton. 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 (lengthwise) to minimize the impact of their impairment.
Para shuttler Tarun added another yellow metal to India's kitty on the final day of the event after 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.
Asian heavyweights, China finished atop of the overall rankings with 172 gold, 88 silver and 59 bronze followed by South Korea (53 gold, 25 silver and 47 bronze) and Iran (51, 42, 43).
Earlier on Friday, Paralympic medallist Deepa Malik bagged her second medal of the completion after she clinched the bronze medal in the women's F51/52/53s discus throw event.
K Jennitha Anto clinched the gold in women’s individual rapid P1 chess event after beating Manurung Roslinda of Indonesia 1-0 in the final round, while Kishan Gangolli got the better of Majid Bagheri in the men’s individual rapid VI – B2/B3 event to claim the top honours. Rapid P1 event is for physically impaired athletes while rapid VI – B2/B3 event features partially blind competitors.
In para-badminton, Parul Parmar notched up a 21-9 21-5 victory over Wandee Kamtam of Thailand to win the gold medal in the women’s singles SL3 event. Athletes in this class have impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance but they play in standing positions.