Paralympians share their 2022 goals
It rained medals for India in 2021 at the Tokyo Paralympic Games, with para-athletes setting the best yet tally of 19 medals and many a new world records.This year, these champions hope to outperform and earn more laurels for the country. Here’s what these sports players are aspiring for in 2022:
Harvinder Singh (Archery)
It is the dream of every athlete to win medals for their country and 2021 was the year in which that dream came true for many. This year I am focused at two major competitions and my goal for 2022 is to win a medal for India in the Para Archery World Championship in Dubai and the Para Asian Games in China. I am already selected for Para Archery World Championship and have begun training for it at a camp in Sonipat. Our diet is always monitored in the camp. We train for 5-6 hours every day. Due to the rise in Omicron cases, masking up and maintaining social distancing is taken very seriously in our camps. We aren’t allowed to go outside except if applied for leave. I think that if India wants to increase its medal tally for 2022 as compared to the previous year, then we should participate in more sports events in championships and encourage aspiring para athletes to do so. Like in the event of canoeing last year in Tokyo Paralampics, we had only one girl participate in it. If more players participate in more events, we could bring home more medals. So there are more events in which India should hone players in and that’ll help.
Nishad Kumar (Athletics, High Jump)
My target for this year is to bag yet another medal for the country in the upcoming championships and Asian Games. I begun training in Bangalore since December itself in the Prakash Padukone Academy. We are also planning on getting some foreign training this year. We are searching for a good centre to train at, abroad. As body weight is extremely important in high jump, my diet and training has been tailored to get my body ready. For India to win more medals in 2022 it is extremely important that the government keeps supporting para-athletes hailing from smaller villages, battling financial problems. There is immense talent in these remote villages of our nations. Let’s motivate and support the potential medal winners, coming from here.
Yogesh Kathuniya (Discus Throw)
My goal for 2022 is to win a gold medal in the Para Asian Games in Discus Throw. In the 2018 Para Asian Games, I had come fourth and missed a medal, and this year I’m all set to win one. My training is going pretty well and so is my diet. In 2022, I want to create a new world record by crossing a 50 m barrier. I have even opened an academy in Naraingarh, Haryana called Yogesh Throwing Academy as I wanted to give future champions a place and opportunity to practise and win medals for the country. The government has been supporting us a lot and this support will surely translate for every athlete in to winning more medals for our country in 2022!
Sumit Antil (Javelin Throw)
2021 was overwhelming for me as I won a gold medal for India in Javelin throw at the Tokyo Paralympics and broke the world record and my own records subsequently while doing so. In 2022, my goal is to perfect my performance further. I want to increase my throw-mark and throw the javelin as far as I can and break all previous records. I do want to win more gold medals for my country this year too. For this, I had begun training after a gap of four months and initially, struggled a lot while training. However, my training is in full swing now and I’ll be returning to the track soon to attempt javelin throws. I train for around 5 hours per day for now and that’ll only increase going further. Consistency in performance is integral to a good athlete and my goal this year will be to maintain that.
Manoj Sarkar (Badminton)
2022 for me, is all about giving back to the nation, through my performance at various competitions and through empowering various para-kids to become future para-athletes. In the upcoming Para Asian Games and Para World Championships I want to win gold and reclaim the position of world number one in singles category. I am right now focussing on fitness training in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, at home. I will resume training in full swing shortly. I am also helping many young aspiring para-athletes and kids with disadvantaged background and training them in badminton. In fact, parents of many disabled children are reaching out and asking me how to make a career in sports and I am trying to help them out to the best of my ability. These parents are now so motivated that they say that their kid don’t have disability, s/he has super ability!
Author tweets @FizzyBuddha