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National Para Swimming Championships to act as qualifying event for Asian Para Games

India's Suyash Jadhav in action at IWAS World Games
India's Suyash Jadhav in action at IWAS World Games
Navneet Singh

Tokyo Paralympian Suyash Jadhav and Niranjan Mukundan will be the main attractions at next month’s National Para Swimming Championships. The competition is scheduled to be held in Udaipur from March 23-26.

According to Virender Kumar Dabas, chairman of the para swimming body in India, the tournament will be important as it will act as a qualifying event for the Asian Para Games in October.

Over 400 competitors, including female para-athletes, are expected to compete in the four-day event, added Dabas.

Maharashtra’s 28-year-old Jadhav will compete in S7 category in the nationals. The reigning 2018 Jakarta Asian Games champion in 50m butterfly will certainly be looking forward to winning the berth for the 2022 Asian Para Games scheduled to be held from October 9-15 in China.

To prepare for the upcoming international events, Jadhav will compete at the Para Swimming World Series in Australia, starting Friday.

Mukundan is another high-profile Indian para swimmer who will compete in the men’s S7 category.

Asian Para Games medalist Devanshi Satija from Haryana and Maharashtra’s Swapnil Patil will be two other top attractions during the nationals in Udaipur.

Going by the depth in the field, Dabas is confident of improving previous Asian Para Games medal tally of eight, including one gold, later this year in China.

“Despite training schedule being disrupted due to the pandemic, several para-athletes have managed to keep themselves fit," Dabas told Sportskeeda with an air of confidence. "We hope our medal tally in China will be more than 10 medals this time."

Para-athletes from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana and West Bengal usually dominate the nationals, Dabas pointed out.

“Post Tokyo Paralympic Games, the para sports movement in India has received a huge response from both private sponsors as well as government departments,” Dabas revealed.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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