Naresh Kumar Sharma wins first Paralympic quota for India

Rohan Nagaraj
Sharma’s hard work has paid rich dividends

Indian shooter Naresh Kumar Sharma became the first Indian paralympian athlete to book his place in the Rio 2016 Paralympics event. The 42-year old won the quota with a 12th place finish in men's 50m rifle three position shooting at the IPC Shooting World Cup at Fort Benning, USA, reports TOI. The former Arjuna awardee booked his fifth Paralympic quota, having featured in every Paralympics since 1996, missing out only in Athens 2004. The veteran had his best finish in 2008 Beijing Paralympics, where he finished 5th.Upon earning his fifth quota, Sharma was visibly elated, but expressed his disappointment over lack of reaction from the shooting federation. "I am happy to win the quota for India but I am sad that no one from the federation has even bothered to call me up and appreciate my performance. The last two years has been very difficult for me. I had no funds train and travel abroad for the competitions.”"Even our federation was under a suspension and so things were not easy. However I am very thankful to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the Sports Ministry to fund me and the others for the three World Cups this year,” he remarked. It is about time that the ace shooter’s consistency and performance is recognised and appreciated by the government authorities and provide him with the necessary support. Sharma’s performance is also an inspiration for other ‘special’ athletes who aim to represent the country in Paralympics and acheive glory. 

Edited by Staff Editor
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