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Indian para-swimmer Niranjan Mukundan clinches eight medals at World Games

Born with clubbed feet, Niranjan has defied the odds to pull off a Michael Phelps at the World Games in Czech Republic.

Niranjan with his eight medals at the event

Indian Para-swimmer Niranjan Mukundan has defied the odds to win as many as eight medals at the recently concluded IWAS (International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports) U-23 World Games in Czech Republic. The Bengaluru lad won three gold medals in the 200m freestyle, 50m butterfly and 50m breaststroke. He also won silvers in the 100m fly and 50m freestyle events.

The rest of his medals were won in the 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke and 100m breaststroke. Niranjan almost matched his own record of 10 medals in the tournament, which he set last year. Born with a herditery medical condition known as Spina Bifilda or clubbed feet, he competes in the S-8 category. Backed by the Gosports Foundation, he is coached by renowned swimming coach John Christopher.

Speaking about his victory, Niranjan said, “Nothing gives me more pleasure than representing the country at the highest level of the sport. I feel privileged that the World Games saw my performances befitting of delivering their inaugural oath, this is something that I will never forget in my life. It also feels great that I can be a mouth piece for my fellow competing athletes.”

Niranjan was selected among representatives from 35 other countries to deliver the oath for the tournament. This also made him the first Indian to do so. Part of Gosports’ Para-champions programme, he is targeting nothing less than a gold in this year’s Paralympics.

He added, “I would like to thank John and Miguel for having the faith in me to compete at the highest level. Now we will be looking at tougher challenges, we hope this is the beginning of an unsung journey in Indian para-swimming.”

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