Indian para badminton players Pramod Bhagat, Tarun Dhillon and Krishna Nagar qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics on Tuesday.
All three secured their respective places for the Tokyo Paralympics by virtue of their present impressive world rankings. The paralympics will be held after the Tokyo Olympics which is slated to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
Along with Palak Kohli (Punjab) and Parul Parmar (Gujarat), so far a total of five athletes have received invitations in para badminton by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).
“The BWF are pleased to inform the Badminton Association of India (BAI) and Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) that the three players are invited to take part at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games for the badminton competition,” stated a BWF press release issued on Tuesday.
The global governing body of badminton has asked BAI and PCI to accept the invitation and confirm their participation as soon as possible.
“Please confirm acceptance of these places through your National Paralympic Committee by Monday, June 14, 2021,” the BWF statement further stated.
The coach of the Indian para badminton team Gaurav Khanna was very happy with the qualification of three more Indian players.
“Certainly it is very good news for us. Palak Kohli and Parul Parmar were the first Indian para badminton players ever to qualify for the Paralympics last month. Pramod Bhagat, Tarun Dhillon and Krishna Sagar fully deserved their qualification as they are among the top players in the world in their respective categories,” said Gaurav Khanna.
He also said two or three more para badminton players are likely to qualify before the deadline of July's second week.
“We are hopeful of getting another two or three berths for the Paralympics. If that happens we will be able to send a formidable team to Tokyo. It will also send a strong message to all the para athletes of the country that if they work hard then they can achieve a lot. I am sure post-Paralympics the scenario will completely change in India as far as para sports is concerned,” said Gaurav Khanna, who runs a professional badminton academy in Lucknow for para athletes.
All five athletes to qualify so far have been training at Lucknow under the guidance of the national coach for the last several months.
Qualified Indian para badminton players for Paralympics
1. Pramod Bhagat (Orissa)
Event: Men’s singles standing lower 3 (MS SL 3)
Date of birth: June 4, 1988
Class: SL 3
2. Tarun Dhillon (Haryana)
Event: Men’s singles standing lower 4 (MS SL 4)
Date of birth: August 18, 1994
Class: SL 4
3. Krishna Nagar (Rajasthan)
Event: Men’s singles short stature 6 (MS SH 6)
Date of birth: January 12, 1999
Class: SH 6