Tokyo Paralympics: Indian archers aim podium finish in maiden appearance

Tokyo Paralympics: Indian archers aim podium finish in maiden appearance
Tokyo Paralympics: Indian archers aim podium finish in maiden appearance

India at Tokyo Paralympics: Indian archers aim podium finish in maiden appearance – A young Indian Para Archery contingent looks to make their mark in what will be their maiden Paralympics campaign in Tokyo. The five-member team is made up of Harvinder Singh, Jyoti Balyan, Shyam Sundar and Vivek Chikara, all born in the 90s, along with veteran Rakesh Kumar.

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Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara will be brimming with confidence as they participate in the Men’s Recurve events. Meanwhile, Jyoti Balyan, Rakesh Kumar and Shyam Sundar will be in action in their respective Compound events. The Compound archers will also participate in the Mixed Team event.

All athletes are a part of the Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS). The Scheme by the Government of India includes financial assistance towards procuring equipment, foreign exposures and international competitions as well as participation in National Coaching Camps along with Sports Science Support.

At 24, Shyam Sundar is the youngest of the lot and has been in training under coach Anil Joshi at the SAI Centre in Sonepat. The Compound Archer from Rajasthan comes into the Tokyo Paralympics on the back of two silver medals Individual and Mixed Team events at the World Ranking Tournament, FAZZA Cup, Dubai 2021. He’s the first from his state to qualify for the Paralympic Games and the 24-year-old uses his teeth to pull the bowstring as one of his limbs is paralysed.

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India at Tokyo Paralympics: Like Shyam Sundar, Jyoti Balan also bagged two silver medals in Dubai earlier this year. Coming from a humble background in Uttar Pradesh, her late father was a farmer and her mother is a homemaker. A case of medical negligence resulted herein the suffering of life-long polio. She along with Kuldeep Kumar train at the Shri Vaishno Devi Sports Complex in Katra, Jammu. Rakesh, hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, won a gold medal in Dubai earlier this year in the individual event. He met with an accident in 2010 and both his legs got paralysed. Since then, he has been in a wheelchair.

Harvinder Singh was the gold medallist in the Men’s Individual Recurve Open at the Asian Para Games 2018. At the age of one and a half, he fell ill due to dengue fever after which he was administered with an injection that had an adverse effect and Singh’s legs stopped functioning properly. However, Harvinder took interest in archery in 2012 while watching archery matches in London Olympics on TV and joined the archery range the very next day.

Vivek Chikara, meanwhile, an individual gold medallist at the 2019 Para Asian Championship in Thailand, has done MBA in retail management in the year 2015 and has also worked as an Executive in Mahindra & Mahindra. In 2017 he met with a truck accident following which he lost function below the knee of his left leg.

Indian at Tokyo Paralympics: Archery schedule

August 27 – Ranking Rounds

  • Women’s Individual Compound Open – Jyoti Balyan
  • Men’s Individual Recurve Open – Harvinder Singh
  • Men’s Individual Compound Open – Rakesh Kumar
  • Men’s Individual Compound Open – Shyam Sundar
  • Men’s Individual Recurve Open – Vivek Chikara

August 28

  • Men’s Individual Compound Open (1/24 Elimination, 1/16 Elimination) – Rakesh Kumar
  • Men’s Individual Compound Open (1/24 Elimination, 1/16 Elimination) – Shyam Sundar

August 29

  • Women’s Individual Compound Open (1/16 Elimination) – Jyoti Balyan
  • Mixed Team Compound Open – 1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal Match, Gold Medal Match

August 30

  • Women’s Individual Compound Open (1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal Match, Gold Medal Match) – Jyoti Balyan

August 31

  • Men’s Individual Compound Open (1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal match, Gold Medal match) – Shyam Sundar
  • Men’s Individual Compound Open (1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal match, Gold Medal match) – Rakesh Kumar

September 3

  • Men’s Individual Recurve Open (1/16 Elimination, 1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal match, Gold Medal match) – Harvinder Singh
  • Men’s Individual Recurve Open (1/16 Elimination, 1/8 Elimination, Quarter Final, Semi Final, Bronze Medal match, Gold Medal match) – Vivek Chikara
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