Kota para badminton player picked for Spanish meet
The Paralymic Committee of India selected Pankaj Singh in the 13-member contingent for the 6th Spanish Para Badminton International to be held at Alcudia from March 7 to 12.jaipur Updated: Feb 02, 2017 20:05 IST
Pankaj Singh (23) of Kota has become Rajasthan’s first para athlete to clinch a berth in the Indian para badminton team that will participate in a championship to be held in Spain.
Pankaj lost his left arm after he touched a high-voltage electricity line when he was 8. The accident happened when he was at the house of his mother’s parents at Hathras in UP.
The Paralymic Committee of India selected him in the 13-member contingent for the 6th Spanish Para Badminton International to be held at Alcudia from March 7 to 12.
“I was inspired by the feat of Rajasthan’s paralympic athlete Devendra Jhajharia who won a gold medal in 2004 Athens Paralympics,” Pankaj told HT on Thursday.
“I got encouragement from family members to pursue a career in para sports. I started playing badminton in 2013 and won my first medal – a bronze -- at the National Open Badminton Championship held at Mumbai in 2014,” he said.
“Later I won two silver medals and one bronze in doubles category at three national-level badminton championships. On the basis of my performance I have been selected in the Indian team. This will be my first international exposure,” said Pankaj, who left engineering studies around three years ago.
“We believed that since God saved the life of our child in a dreadful incident, he would do something special in life,” said Pankaj’s mother Anjali Singh Chaudhary. Pankaj’s father Dharamveer Singh Chaudhary is a head constable in the Railway Protection Force.
After his selection, Pankaj faced the challenge of arranging around ₹1.30 lakh for participation in the Spanish championship. Players were left to arrange funds for the Spain tour after the suspension of the Parabadminton Federation of India.
Kota District Badminton Association, Allen Career Institute, some businessmen and social organisations provided financial assistance to Pankaj. “I have got funds for the Spain tour. I would need sponsors for training at professional badminton training academies at Bengaluru to be able to participate in the World Championship to be held in South Korea in November, and Tokyo Paralympics in 2020,” he said.
“Devendra Jhajharia is my role model for not only winning 2 gold medals in paralympics but also promoting para players in the state.”