Tokyo Paralympics 2021: Full list of the 54 Indian competitors

Team India arrives during the opening ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP via Getty Images

India will be sending its largest ever contingent to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with 54 athletes (40 men, 14 women) across nine para sports. Here is the full list of Indians in action, with a brief bio of each athlete, and details of their sport, event and classification. The 2021 Paralympics is scheduled to take place from August 24 to September 5.

India at Tokyo Paralympics: Full schedule & results | Top medal prospects


Harvinder Singh

Age: 30

Event: Men's individual recurve - Open (W2/ST)

Harvinder lost the ability to move his legs properly when he was a year and half old, due to the adverse effects of an injection during a bout of dengue. He took up archery while studying at the Punjabi University in Patiala, where he saw archers training and was motivated by watching para archery at the London Olympics. At the 2018 Asian Para Games - his third international competition - Harvinder shot to fame after winning India's first ever para archery gold at the event. He also won bronze at the Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok in 2019. During the covid lockdown in 2020, Harvinder set up a target on his family farm in his village to continue training.

Vivek Chikara

Age: 31

Event: Men's individual recurve - Open (W2/ST)

Vivek Chikara had never envisioned a future in archery prior to 2017, when he suffered a horrific road accident that eventually resulted in doctors amputating his left leg. He picked up the sport at the Gurukul Prabhat Academy in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, as he began his recovery process, eventually deciding to pursue it full-time and quitting his job in the process. The decision has been a rewarding one. Chikara qualified for the Paralympics after finishing ninth at the 2019 World Championships and goes into the Games as the Asian para-archery Champion, winning gold in the 2019 edition.

Rakesh Kumar

Age: 36

Event: Men's individual compound - Open (W2/ST)

In 2009, Rakesh Kumar's life changed forever when the car he was traveling in fell into a gorge. The spinal injury he suffered from the impact rendered him paralyzed waist below and he was bed-ridden for six months. Belonging to Katra, Jammu, Rakesh's family struggled to cope with his mounting treatment expenses. The thought of having turned into a burden for his family drove Rakesh to attempt suicide multiple times. He ran a roadside shop for a means to income and was spotted on the street by an archery coach in 2017, who believed that Rakesh's strong arms would make him a good fit for para archery and invited him to try out the sport. Rakesh kept going back for practice sessions and decided to pursue the sport seriously. He was part of the Indian para archers' team that won gold in the team event at the 2018 European circuit second leg and returned with bronze in the mixed team event at the World Ranking tournament, the following year. Rakesh is currently ranked 11 in the world among compound para archers and in February this year he won gold in the individual category of the World Ranking tournament in Dubai.

Shyam Sundar Swami

Age: 24

Event: Men's individual compound - Open (W2/ST)

Son of a vegetable vendor from the Bholasar village in Rajasthan's Bikaner district, Swami was born with a deficiency in his legs. Swami, who competed in the 2018 Asian Para Games as well as the World Championships in 2017 and 2019, won silver at the Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Championships in February 2021.

Jyoti Baliyan

Age: 27

Event: Women's individual compound - Open (W2/ST) and mixed team compound - Open

Baliyan is the only female archer from India to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. Hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Baliyan initially wanted to be a volleyball player. Baliyan had to give up that dream though after getting affected with polio at the age of 10.

She took up archery after being introduced to the sport by her father. Baliyan, who practices for around eight hours everyday, suffered from mental health issues after losing her father and has said that she wants to win a medal at the Paralympics and dedicate it to her father.


Amit Kumar Saroha

Age: 36

Event: Men's club throw F51

At 22, Saroha was a national-level hockey player when he met with a car accident, which left him a quadriplegic due to compression of the spinal cord. In 2010, he won silver in the discus throw at his first Asian Para Games in Guangzhou, China. Two years later, he broke the Asian record to win gold in a Paralympic qualifier event, becoming the first quadriplegic to represent India at the Paralympic Games. He finished eighth in the men's discus throw F51-53 at the 2012 London Paralympics. In 2013, he was conferred the Arjuna Award.

At the Rio Paralympics, Saroha finished fourth in the club throw, missing bronze agonizingly by a distance of 0.2m. At the 2017 Worlds, Saroha won another silver, once again breaking the Asian record with a throw of 30.25m.

Dharambir Nain

Age: 32

Event: Men's club throw F51

Dharambir Nain is one of several para athletes who have been inspired by Amit Saroha. Nain, from Bhadana village in Haryana's Sonipat district, had been paralysed and confined to a wheelchair following a diving accident as a child. He'd misjudged the depth of the water and crashed into the underlying rocks. He took up sports after being introduced by a friend to Saroha, a three-time medallist at the Asian Para Games. Nain would go on to compete at the 2016 Paralympics and win a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games.

Vinod Kumar

Age: 32

Event: Men's discus throw F52

Vinod Kumar's limbs were paralyzed from an accident seven months after he joined the Border Security Force. After the incident he had to use a wheelchair and ran a grocery store in his hometown, Rohtak in Haryana. The store was frequented by an archery coach from the nearby stadium who suggested he give para sport a shot. Vinod went on to take up discus throw and his first international medal was a bronze at the World para athletics Grand Prix in 2019. Vinod won his Paralympic quota two months later at the Dubai World Championships. It was a tournament he almost missed. He had trouble with his travel documents and eventually managed to reach Dubai hours before his competition. He still finished fourth with an effort of 19.29m and it was enough for a Tokyo berth.

Yogesh Kathuniya

Age: 24

Event: Men's discus throw F56

Yogesh Kathuniya's sporting ambitions were very nearly shattered after he suffered a paralytic attack at the age of eight, which left him with impaired limb coordination. However, that didn't stop him from pursuing his sporting passions and he developed an interest in both the discus and javelin events. Last year, competing in his first international event, Kathuniya set a new world record of 45.18m to win gold at the Para Athletics Grand Prix in Berlin. In 2019, Kathuniya qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics after he claimed the bronze medal with a throw of 42.51m in the men's discus throw F56 final at the Dubai World Para Athletics Championships.

Nishad Kumar

Age: 21

Event: Men's high jump T47

Belonging to Una in Himachal Pradesh, Nishad Kumar took up para sport in 2009. In November 2019, he claimed a bronze at the World Para Athletics Championships for a berth in the Tokyo Paralympics. Nishad cleared 2.06m for an Asian record and a gold medal at the World Para Athletics GP in February this year. That performance would catapult him to No 2 in the world rankings.

Ram Pal

Age: 32

Event: Men's high jump T47

Sonepat's Ram Pal Chahar's right arm was amputated at the wrist after an agricultural accident in his childhood. He continued to play sports like his able-bodied friends and was inspired, like so many para athletes, by Amit Saroha, to take that career to the next level. In 2013, he quit his job to pursue the high jump as a full-time athlete and was rewarded after he qualified for the Rio Paralympics, where he finished sixth. Since then, he's gone on to win a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Para Games as well.

Mariyappan Thangavelu

Age: 26

Event: Men's High Jump T63

One of only three Indians in history to win gold at the Paralympics, Mariyappan will look to become the first Indian to medal in successive Paralympics in Tokyo. His strongest challenge is likely to come from his own compatriots: Varun Singh Bhati and Sharad Kumar.

Mariyappan became an overnight sensation after his gold medal-winning effort in Rio and has since gone on to win bronze at the Asian Para Games (2018) and World Para Athletics Championships (2019).

Mariyappan's right leg had to be amputated below the knee at the age of five after it was run over by a drunk bus driver.

He cleared a height of 1.89m at the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics to become the second Indian to win an athletics gold medal at the Paralympics.

He was India's flagbearer at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Para Asian Games and was also going to be India's flagbearer at the opening ceremony in Tokyo before having to miss the opportunity after coming in contact with a Covid infected person.

Sharad Kumar

Age: 29

Event: Men's High Jump T42

Sharad made his international debut at the 2010 Asian Para Games. He became World No. 1 at the age of 19 in 2012, but a failed drug test meant he missed the 2012 Paralympics. He came back with a gold at the 2014 Asian Para Games and won gold again at the 2018 edition. He finished sixth at the 2016 Rio Paralympics and won silver at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.

At the age of two, he suffered a paralysis of his left leg after reportedly being given fake polio medication at a local eradication drive. He started high jump in school, where he broke school and district records against able-bodied athletes. He has been training out of Ukraine (since 2017) under the government's Target Olympic Podium Scheme. Having graduated with an MA in International Relations from Delhi University, Sharad is now pursuing a course in International Business Management from the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute.

Varun Singh Bhati

Age: 26

Event: Men's High Jump T63

Bhati has polio in one leg, which was diagnosed at age six. He started with basketball and later transitioned to high jump, reckoning his strength in vertical jumps would come good. He finished fifth at the 2014 Para Asian Games and 2015 Para World Championships in Doha, Qatar. He had also attained the 'A' qualification mark for the London Paralympics in 2012. With a personal best of 1.86 m, he won bronze at the 2016 Games. He followed up his Rio medal with a bronze at the World Para Athletics Championships in 2017 and a silver at the 2018 Asian Para Games.

Praveen Kumar

Age: 18

Event: Men's High Jump T64

Teeanger Praveen Kumar won gold with a leap of 2.05m at the World Para Athletics GP earlier this year. It also turned out to be a new Asian record. The 18 year old missed the bronze narrowly at the 2019 Junior World Para Athletics Championships, his fourth-place finish however was enough to claim a qualification spot for the Paralympics.

Navdeep Singh

Age: 20

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F41

Navdeep will be competing in the javelin throw, much like another famous exponent of the sport from Panipat - Neeraj Chopra. Navdeep is one of India's best bets for a medal, having won gold at the World and Asian Championships. Suffering from Achondroplegia, which limited his physical development, Navdeep pursued both wrestling and javelin throw growing up, eventually settling on the latter. With a personal best throw of 43.78m, he is only 50cm short of the world record in the F41 category.

Sundar Singh Gurjar

Age: 25

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F46

Sundar Singh Gurjar used to compete in the general category before he lost his left palm in a home accident in 2015. In 2016, he made the 'A' qualification mark for the Rio Paralympics with a throw of 59.36m. With a national record throw of 68.42m at the Para Athletics National Championships, he was one the favourites in Rio. However, having failed to understand the announcer's accent, Gurjar reached 52 seconds late for the start of the javelin throw event and was disqualified. Sundar said he entered a period of depression during which he didn't want to train and even contemplated quitting sport altogether.

However, he bounced back, and at the 2017 season opener in Dubai, he won gold in all three of his events - javelin throw, discus throw and shot put. Sundar went on to win the men's javelin throw F46 gold at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London. At the 2018 Asian Para Games, Sundar won silver in the javelin throw and bronze in the discus throw. In 2019, he won his second Worlds gold in javelin, thereby confirming his place at the Tokyo Paralympics.

Ajeet Singh

Age: 27

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F46

In 2017, Ajeet Singh Yadav fell from a moving train while trying to save a friend and lost his left arm. He took up javelin throw as a means to recuperate from the mental trauma and the following year participated in the Para Nationals in Panchkula. He finished fourth. The javelin thrower from Ettawah, Uttar Pradesh went on to win a gold medal at the 2019 World Para Athletics GP in Beijing and a bronze at the World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai the same year.

Devendra Jhajharia

Age: 40

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F46

Easily one of the greatest athletes to have been produced by India, Jhajharia is a former world champion and the current world record holder. The only Indian in history to win two gold medals at the Paralympics, Jhajharia looks set for an unprecedented hat-trick in Rio.

At 40, he continues to remain in sublime form, having broken the world record at the selection trials earlier this year. When he was eight, Jhajharia's left arm had to be amputated up to the elbow after he accidentally touched a 11000 volt live cable.

Jhajharia will face stiff completion from compatriots Sundar Singh Gurjar, the reigning World Champion and Ajeet Singh Yadav, who won bronze at the last World Championships.

What makes Jhajharia's achievements even more creditable is the fact that both his previous golds at the Paralympics came after breaking the existing world record.

With this likely to be his last appearance at the biggest stage in para sport, he would want to go out in style after a storied career that has lasted for two decades.

Tek Chand

Age: 37

Event: Men's Shot Put F55

Tek Chand, who competes in the javelin throw and shot put, grew up in a farming family in Rewari district of Haryana and was paralysed after suffering an injury to his spinal cord in 2005. It was only 10 years later that he decided to pursue sports. He began practising javelin throw and shot put only after hearing about the Para Games from a friend. Chand has gone from strength to strength since then. The 37-year-old won bronze in men's shot put at the 2018 Asian Para Games and silver at the 2018 World Para Athletics Grand Prix. In Tokyo, his goal of finishing on the podium has grown even more challenging after he was reclassified in the F55 category from his earlier F54 category.

Ranjeet Bhati

Age: 24

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F57

Ranjeet Bhati lost one of his limbs in an accident in 2012. The Paralympic debutant from Faridabad took up javelin throw on a lark but began pursuing it seriously around four years ago. He won gold at the Para athletics national championships held this year.

Sandeep Choudhary

Age: 25

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F64

In the 2018 Para Asian Games, Sandeep broke the existing world record in the F44 category (for para athletes affected by limb deficiency, leg length difference, impaired muscle power or impaired passive range of movement and competing without prosthesis) set by China's Mingjie Gao in 1980, with a best throw of 60.01m in his third attempt. He broke it again at the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai with a throw of 66.18m. He goes into Tokyo 2021 in stellar form having won the World Athletics 2021 Dubai Grand Prix with a throw of 61.2m. Although he is officially classified in the F44 category, in Tokyo he will compete in the F64 division, which is typically for athletes with a leg amputation.

When Sandeep was 12, a left hip injury which went untreated led to pus formation in the joint. It had to be surgically removed so that it did not spread to other parts of his body. As a fallout, his mobility was affected. He dabbled in a variety of sports, primarily badminton and volleyball. It was only in 2014 that he picked up the javelin. His physiotherapy was overseen by Shrikant Iyengar and trainer Rajveer Choudhary who he was introduced to by GoSports.

Sumit Antil

Age: 22

Event: Men's Javelin Throw F64

Sumit Antil is one of India's best gold medal prospects at the Tokyo Paralympics. With a personal best throw of 66.43 m, javelin thrower Antil is the current world record holder in the F64 category. Gold is the target for the 22-year-old from Khewra village near Haryana's Sonepat. He had originally planned to become a wrestler but those dreams were shattered after his left leg was amputated following a road accident. After months in hospital, a prosthetic leg revived his sporting dreams, gave him the confidence to compete with national stars and, at the Indian GP in March this year, he did just that -- break the world record for para athletes while competing alongside the likes of Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra.

Arvind Malik

Age: 28

Event: Men's Shot Put F35

Arvind Malik suffered a head injury while playing cricket as a child which left him paralyzed. His younger brother who would practice hammer throw encouraged him to join him for trips to the stadium. Arvind, with the assistance of a coach, began to pursue discus throw. He won six medals at domestic events in the run up to the 2018 Asian Para Games. Months before the Games, however, he was shifted from F37 to F35 category. He still managed to finish with a fifth-place at that Games.

Soman Rana

Age: 38

Event: Men's Shot Put F57

Soman Rana was a boxer in the Indian Army whose career in that sport was cut short in 2006 when he lost his right leg in a landmine blast. It took several years for him to rejoin sports, only beginning his journey in shot put in 2017 after being inducted into the Army Paralympic Node. Rana has made the most of this opportunity. In 2021, Rana won a gold medal at the Tunis World Para Athletics Grand Prix. He followed it up with a couple of gold medals and a silver at the XIX National Athletics Para Championship. Rana is currently the World No. 2 shot putter in the F57 category and is expected to return from Tokyo with a medal.

Simran Sharma

Age: 21

Event: Women's 100m T13

Simran Sharma is the first Indian female para athlete to qualify for the 100m event at the Tokyo Paralympics. Her husband, an army jawan, also doubles up as her coach and took out loans to fund her training. Her impaired vision condition makes it difficult for her to see beyond seven to 10 meters. In 2019, she won gold at the Para Athletics GP in China. In February this year, she clocked 12.74 seconds for another gold, at the World Para Athletics GP in Dubai.

Kashish Lakra

Age: 17

Event: Women's Club Throw F51

At 17, Kashish Lakra is the youngest athlete from India to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, in the women's club throw F51 category. Lakra was a budding athlete, winning a Delhi state medal in skating and qualifying for the Khelo India championships as a wrestler. A training accident in 2017 saw her suffer serious vertebral injuries and confined her to a wheelchair but didn't dim her passion for sports. As she recovered, she mastered the sport of club throw and eventually won medals at the state and national level. Lakra has graduated to the international stage too, winning gold at the 2019 World Junior Para Athletic Championships, and finished fifth at the Senior Para Athletics Championship in Dubai the same year.

Ekta Bhyan

Age: 36

Event: Women's Club Throw F51

Ekta had to give up her dream of becoming a doctor in 2003, when an accident left her paralysed at the age of 18. She turned to sport during her recovery and started training in discus throw under Paralympian Amit Kumar Saroha, who encouraged her to become a para athlete. She won golds in club throw at the 2016, 2017 and 2018 Para National Championships, following it up with a gold at the 2018 Asian Para Games. Ekta, who was named ESPN India's para athlete of the year for 2018, secured her Tokyo 2020 qualification during the 2019 World Para Athletics Championships in Dubai.

Bhagyashri Jadhav

Age: 36

Event: Women's Shot Put F34

Bhagyashri Jadhav claimed silver with her 6.18m throw at the World Para Athletics GP earlier this year. India finished in second position alongside Turkey and Kenya at the tournament with 23 medals. Earlier this year she won bronze in women's javelin F34 at the World Para Athletics GP in Dubai.


Pramod Bhagat

Age: 33

Event: Men's Singles SL3 and mixed doubles SL3-SU5

Bhagat was affected by polio and developed a defect in his left leg at the age of five. At 15, Bhagat played his first tournament against able-bodied players and received praise for his performance. On his national-level debut in 2005, Bhagat won gold in the singles and doubles, marking the start of a long career in which he has won over a 100 national and international medals, including four gold at the World Championships. Bhagat is currently No. 1 in the rankings for men's singles SL3. With para badminton making its debut at the Tokyo Games, Bhagat is determined to make his mark, aiming to do for para badminton what Saina Nehwal did for badminton with her bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

Manoj Sarkar

Age: 31

Event: Men's Singles SL3

Badminton will be making its debut at the Paralympics this year in Tokyo and India is expected to win multiple medals in the sport, with Sarkar being one of the major contenders.

Ranked 3rd in the SL 3 category in the world rankings, Sarkar is a multiple medalist at the Para Badminton World Championships and Asian Games.

Sarkar and his compatriot Pramod Bhagat have been utterly dominant in the SL3 category over the last few years and have also had plenty of success as a men's doubles pair. However, both of them will start as the favourites in the singles event, with an all-Indian final being a strong possibility.

Bhagat has had the upper hand against Sarkar in their previous meetings and the younger Indian will be looking to turn the tables this time round.

Tarun Dhillon

Age: 27

Event: Men's Singles SL4

Tarun Dhillon grew up with dreams of becoming a cricketer but a poorly-treated accident to his right leg resulted in an eventual deformity that ended those dreams. He discovered badminton just a year later and went on to excel in it. Dhillon won gold at the 2013 World Championships in Germany at the age of 19. He has also won gold in the SL4 men's singles and a bronze in doubles (SL3-SUS) at the 2018 Asian Para Games and a silver in the SL4 men's singles at the 2014 Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea. Dhillon is also a two-time world champion in the sport, winning the men's singles titles in 2013 and 2015.

Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj

Age: 38

Event: Men's Singles SL4

Suhas is an IAS officer of 2007 UP cadre and is currently the district magistrate (DM) of Gautam Budhh Nagar, UP. His gold in the Asia Championships 2016 came when he was serving as the DM of Azamgarh - he was the first ever serving Indian bureaucrat to represent and win a medal for India at a global level. He played badminton at school level and at the civil services academy before taking it up on a more serious note due to the encouragement of peers and family. He is a self-taught, self-coached player. He has an impairment on one of his ankles.

Krishna Nagar

Age: 22

Event: Men's Singles SH6

Diagnosed with dwarfism when he was just two years old, Nagar took up badminton as a hobby in 2017. He soon learned about para badminton as a sport and started competing professionally. He won bronze at the 2018 Asian Para Games, and another bronze at the 2019 Para Badminton World Championships.

Earlier this year, he also won two gold medals at the Para Badminton International in Dubai. As badminton makes its debut at the Para Games, the 22-year-old from Rajasthan, currently ranked No. 2 in the world, will be hoping to clinch a memorable gold in Tokyo.

Parul Parmar

Age: 48

Event: Women's Singles SL4 and Women's Doubles SL3-SU5

Parmar was diagnosed with polio at the age of three. The same year, she fell from a swing and fractured her leg and collarbone, both of which took a long time to heal. She began to develop an interest in badminton after accompanying her father, a state-level badminton player, to a local badminton club. At 29, she participated in her first Para Badminton World Cup.

In 2009, she was awarded the Arjuna Award. She has been working as a badminton coach at the Sports Authority of India centre in Gandhinagar, Gujarat since 2011. She won bronze in singles at the 2010 Asian Para Games, improving on that result with singles gold in 2014 and 2018. She also won silver in the mixed doubles in 2014. At the Para Badminton World Championships, Parmar won silver in women's doubles and gold in mixed doubles at the 2015 edition. In 2017, she improved to gold in the women's doubles and also added the singles gold to her tally.

In Tokyo, Parmar's partnership with Palak Kohli, 29 years her junior, will be one to watch out for.

Palak Kohli

Age: 19

Event: Women's Singles SU5, Women's Doubles SL3-SU5 and Mixed Doubles SL3-SU5

Just 19 years of age, Kohli is one of the youngest in the 54 member Indian contingent at the Olympics and has a strong chance of medaling in the two doubles events she'll be participating in.

She will partner multiple world champion Pramod Bhagat in the mixed doubles and the vastly experienced Parul Parmar in the women's doubles. The 48-year old Parmar is the oldest member of the Indian contingent. They might be separated by a 29-year age gap but Kohli and Parmar form a formidable pair. Kohli's the only Indian badminton player to participate in three events in Tokyo.


Prachi Yadav

Age: 26

Event: Women's Va'a Single 200m - VL2

Prachi Yadav, a national para-swimmer switched to para-canoe in 2018 on the insistence of her coach. He believed that her long arms could work to an advantage and she would have a greater chance of qualifying for the Paralympics in the new sport. She won her first two medals in the sport - a gold and a silver at the 2019 Para Canoe Championships. For her, the 2024 Paris Paralympics seemed like a realistic qualification target. The pandemic-induced postponement of the Games, suddenly opened up 12 more months for Prachi. The cancellation of qualifying events thereafter earned her a spot at the Tokyo Paralympics based on her 2019 results. Para-canoe is a fairly new sport in the Paralympics program, making its debut in Rio, 2016 and the canoeist from Gwalior will be the first-ever and lone Indian entrant in the event.


Jaideep Deswal

Age: 31

Event: Men's - 65kg

A multi-talented athlete, the former discus thrower took up powerlifting in 2016, when he started it as a way to train himself for the discus throw. He qualified for and finished seventh in the World Para Powerlifting Championships in 2017. Deswal, who started discus throwing in 2007, was given a wrong vaccination for a fever at the age of four months, which led to loss of strength in his left leg.

Sakina Khatun

Age: 32

Event: Women's - 50 kg

Khatun overcame polio as a child, and was advised by her doctors to take up swimming to strengthen muscles during her recovery. She took up powerlifting in 2010, won bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games - the first ever Indian woman paralifter to do so -- and a silver at the 2018 Para Asian Games. She secured qualification to the Tokyo Games in July 2021 alongside powerlifter Jaideep Kumar Deswal, after the sport's governing body handed India bipartite quotas.


Manish Narwal

Age: 19

Event: P1 - Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 and P4 - Mixed 50m Pistol SH1

Manish Narwal began pistol shooting in 2016 in Faridabad, Haryana. A big fan of football, Narwal wanted to pursue the sport, but couldn't do so beyond the local club level due to a congenital impairment in his right hand. On the suggestion of a close friend, Narwal's father took the boy to the TenX Shooting Academy in Ballabgarh, Faridabad.

Narwal, who counts Lionel Messi and Usain Bolt as his idols, announced himself on the big stage by winning the P1 men's 10m air pistol SH1 gold and the P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 silver at the 2018 Asian Para Games. He went on to win bronze at the 2019 World Championships and was conferred the Arjuna Award in 2020. At the Para Shooting World Cup in Al Ain, UAE, earlier this year, he broke the world record en route to gold in the P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 event. Narwal is currently ranked fourth in the world in the men's 10m air pistol SH1 and second in the world in the mixed 50m pistol SH1.

Narwal is among the most promising medal hopes among the 10 Indian para shooters in Tokyo.

Deepender Singh

Age: 27

Event: P1 - Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1

Deepender is set to compete in the men's 10m air pistol event in the SH1 category in Tokyo.

The 27-year old had previously won a silver medal in the men's 10m air pistol SH1 category at the 2018 Para Sport World Cup in France. He had also won gold in the 2017 Para Sport World Cup - his first international competition - held in Bangkok.

Deepender, born in the Baghpat district in Uttar Pradesh, was affected by polio at an early age, which resulted in the impairment of his right leg.


Age: 39

Event: P1 - Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 and P4 - Mixed 50m Pistol SH1

Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar

Age: 34

Event: R1 - Men's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1

Unhalkar, a polio survivor, trained under coaches Ajit Patil and Yuvraj Salunke, who had also coached Olympians Rahi Sarnobat and Tejaswini Sawant. Unhalkar took up shooting in 2009, initially relying on old, borrowed equipment because he couldn't afford to buy his own. He began participating in tournaments in 2012, and in 2016, moved to Pune to join Gagan Narang's Guns for Glory academy. He secured his spot for Tokyo at the Shooting Para Sport (WSPS) World Championships in Sydney in 2019. At the March 2021 World Cup in UAE he finished fifth in 10m air rifle.

Deepak Saini

Age: 39

Event: R1 - Men's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1, R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1, R6 - Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 and R7 - Men's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1

Silver medallist at the 2018 Asian Para Games, Deepak Saini will now hope to carry his success into the Olympics. Competing in four different events, Saini qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics after winning a quota in the men's 50m three position SH1 category at the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Lima, Peru in June this year. Earlier, Saini had finished sixth at the 2018 World Para Sport World Championships in Cheongju. The Tokyo Games will be the second Paralympics for Saini, who also took part at the 2016 Para Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Rubina Francis

Age: 22

Event: P2 - Women's 10m Air Pistol SH1

Born with a disability in her leg, Rubina Francis took up shooting professionally in 2015. She wanted to pursue something besides studies in school, and when Gagan Narang's Gun for Glory Shooting Academy advertised in her school in Jabalpur, Rubina registered and was selected. After two years there, Rubina moved to the MP Shooting Academy in Bhopal in 2017, the year she competed in her first international tournament, the Para Shooting World Cup in Dubai. In 2018, she participated in the Asian Para Games in the P2 women's 10m air pistol SH1 event.

Rubina's qualification for the Tokyo Paralympics came at the last possible moment. After missing out on one quota place after another, she began working harder than ever at the start of the year, under her coach Subhash Rana, but she tested positive for COVID-19 at a camp in May, with just over a month to go for the Lima World Shooting Para Sport World Cup, the final qualification event.

While recovering, Rubina did not do any live shooting but she did physical and mental training as well as dry shooting (without pellets). Despite all the odds, Rubina won gold in the P2 women's 10m air pistol SH1 event, even creating a new world record in the process.

Avani Lekhara

Age: 19

Event: R2 - Women's 10m Air Rifle Standing SH1, R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1, R6 - Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1 and R8 - Women's 50m Rifle 3 Positions SH1

The current World No. 5 in the women's 10m air rifle standing SH1 event, 20-year-old Lekhara is headed to her maiden Paralympics in Tokyo.

A major car accident in 2012 injured her spinal cord, making her dependent on a wheelchair.

Three years on, after her father's encouragement, she decided to try out her hand in professional shooting and archery. As luck would have it, she got inspired to take the former seriously after reading India's first individual Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra's autobiography, A Shot At History: My Obsessive Journey To Olympic Gold.

Lekhara, now supported by OGQ, had recently won a silver medal at the 2021 Para Shooting World Cup and will aim for a podium finish at the Paralympics.

Rahul Jakhar

Age: 35

Event: P3 - Mixed 25m Pistol SH1


Age: 31

Event: P3 - Mixed 25m Pistol SH1 and P4 - Mixed 50m Pistol SH1

Akash, was diagnosed with polio as a child, and was later introduced to shooting by a family member. Hailing from a farming family in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, he began to seriously pursue the sport when he was 16, visiting the shooting range near his village often for practice rounds. He won his first national championship medal, a bronze, in 2009. He went on to bring home two gold medals from the 2019 Osijek Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Croatia.

Sidhartha Babu

Age: 42

Event: R3 - Mixed 10m Air Rifle Prone SH1 and R6 - Mixed 50m Rifle Prone SH1

Sidhartha was a professional martial arts instructor before a motorcycle accident in 2002 made him paraplegic. After the accident, he started learning the basics of shooting on his own, through books. In 2016, he competed amidst mainstream shooters (including non-para competitors) to win the Kerala state shooting championships, a feat he would repeat two more times. The state later sponsored him to travel to Belarus to train under 2012 Olympics gold medallist Sergei Martynov. In 2017, he won bronze at the at the Para shooting World Cup. He secured a quota for the Tokyo Games during the 2019 World Championships in Sydney. In March this year, he won a bronze at the Al Ain Para Shooting World Cup.


Niranjan Mukundan

Age: 26

Event: Men's 50m Butterfly - S7

Niranjan Mukundan was born with spina bifida, an incomplete formation of the spinal cord, and with clubbed feet. As a result, he underwent several surgeries and had to be carried around for the first eight years of his life. Mukundan took up swimming as a form of aqua therapy on the advice of his doctor. What began as a way to strengthen his legs soon turned into a form of movement Mukundan enjoyed. Not long after, he was spotted by coaches who suggested he give para sports a shot.

Mukundan made his international debut in 2013 and hasn't looked back since. In addition to the work of coaches and institutions, he attributes the 'complete' support of his family for his swimming career. He has had as many as 19 surgeries and his susceptibility to injuries in his lower body, especially ulcers on his feet, has led him to miss several major events.

However, he has said that it's his love of the sport and pride in being an Indian that allows him to rise up after each setback. He will be eager to make the most of his maiden Paralympics.

Suyash Jadhav

Age: 27

Event: Men's 50m Butterfly - S7 and Men's 200m Individual Medley - SM7

Jadhav will be making his second appearance at the Paralympics. He failed to progress beyond the heats in any of the three events he participated in at the Rio Games but won one gold and two bronzes at the 2018 Para Asian Games.

Jadhav, who hails from Maharashtra and trains in Pune, holds the distinction of being the first Indian swimmer to breach the 'A' qualifying mark for the Paralympics.

Table Tennis

Sonalben Patel

Age: 33

Event: Women's Team - Classes 4-5 and Women's Singles - Class 3

When she was just six months old, Sonalben Manubhai Patel was diagnosed with polio, which later affected both her legs and her right hand, leaving her with 90% disability. With the help and support of her parents, Sonalben handled the challenges of her disability.

Sonalben said she was rejected for a primary teaching course in Ahmedabad due to her disability. She then enrolled herself in an industrial training course at the Blind People's Association in the city. Tejalben Lakhia, the superintendent of the institute, encouraged her to take up table tennis and she began training under her coach Lalan Doshi. "I would gaze for hours at those playing table tennis," she said.

Sonalben's husband Ramesh Chaudhary has played para table tennis and para cricket. He competed in the former at the 2019 Asian Championships in Taichung, Chinese Taipei.

Bhavinaben Patel

Age: 34

Event: Women's Team - Classes 4-5 and Women's Singles - Class 4

Bhavina plays TT in a wheelchair - she picked up TT for fun, but soon realised she was really good at it. In her first national championships, she won bronze and it's been an upward trajectory from there. She's currently ranked 12th in her class.


Aruna Tanwar

Age: 21

Event: Women K44 -49kg

Aruna, currently ranked fourth in the world, started the sport in 2008 at the age of eight. She won her first medal in the 2015 junior nationals (a bronze) - she competed as an able-bodied athlete till 2017, when she was declared ineligible due to having three fingers in each hand and arms not fully formed.

A five-time national champion, Aruna is among the eight athletes given a bipartite commission invitation for Tokyo by World Taekwondo and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC). The invitation came as a surprise for the youngster, who had missed the World and Asian qualifier in Jordan due to the travel ban because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Aruna's father is a driver at a chemical factory. "Since her birth, when Aruna suffered deformity in both her hands, we have treated Aruna like other children and have supported her life as a normal person. While I struggled financially, I took loans apart from spending our savings to support her dreams. It's her willpower and eagerness to compete among the best, which has resulted in her getting selected for the Tokyo Paralympics and there cannot be a bigger joy for us to see our daughter compete in Tokyo and win a medal for India," said an emotional Kumar while talking with The Indian Express.

Aruna is studying for a bachelor's degree in physical education at the Chandigarh University.