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54-member Indian team leaves for Tokyo Paralympics

AFP PHOTO / YASUYOSHI CHIBA

A 54-member Indian team for the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday left for Tokyo on Thursday.

The team has some brightest medal prospects like Devendra Jhajharia, seeking his third Paralympics gold (after 2004 and 2016) in F-46 javelin throw, Mariyappan Thangavelu (T-63 high jump) and world champion Sandeep Choudhary (F-64 javelin throw).

India will compete in nine sports.

Mariyappan, who had won a gold in the last edition in Rio, will be the flag bearer of the Indian contingent during the opening ceremony on August 24. The Tokyo Paralympics will end on September 5.

India achieved its best ever performance in the Paralympic Games in the 2016 Rio Games with two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

PCI president Deepa Malik, who herself had won a silver medal in shot put at Rio 2016 Games, said, "The games will not be the same again after Tokyo2020 Paralympics. We are going to see a record haul of medals as our athletes are in prime form."

PCI secretary general Gursharan Singh will be the chef de mission of the Indian team.

Badminton will make its debut at the Paralympic Games, which will feature as many as seven Indian athletes.

India will start its campaign on August 27, with men's and women's archery events.