The Indian contingent clinched a total of 17 medals, including six gold, at the ongoing 2022 Hangzhou Asian Para Games on Monday.

Canoeist Prachi Yadav started the medal rush for India as she finished second in the women’s VL2 behind Uzbekistan’s Irodakhon Rustamova. Yadav clocked 1:03.147s to open India’s account in the fourth edition of the Asian Para Games.

High Jumper Shailesh Kumar then won the country’s first gold with a Games record leap of 1.82m in men’s T63 category, as two-time Paralympics medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu took the silver at 1.80m to make it a double podium. The event had only three competitors with another Indian – Ramsingh Padhiyar, finishing third.

Padhiyar, however, was not awarded a medal in accordance to the rules set by the Asian Paralympic Committee.

The podium sweep missed in T63 high jump was soon avenged in Men’s F51 club throw as Pranav Soorma, Dharambir, and veteran Amit Saroha clinched gold, silver, and bronze respectively in a four-man field.

While Soorma achieved a Games record distance of 30.01m, Dharambir recorded 28.76m. Saroha, who was the Indian flag bearer, registered a best effort of 26.93m.

Tokyo stars shine in Hangzhou

Later in the day rifle-shooter Avani Lekhara, high jumpers Nishad Kumar and Praveen Kumar – all of whom shot to fame during the Tokyo Paralympics two years back, bagged a gold medal each in their respective events.

Reigning Paralympics champion Lekhara shot a Games record 249.6 in women’s 10m air rifle SH1 category to take home the gold medal as two Chinese shooters finished second and third . The previous Asian Para Games record in the event stood at 247.

Both Nishad and Praveen, on the other hand, were part of a double podium finish for India.

While Nishad took the gold medal with a best of 2.02m in T47 high jump, compatriot Ram Pal shared the silver with China’s Chen Hongjie at 1.94m.

Praveen broke the Games record in T63 high jump with a leap of 2.02m as Unni Renu fnished third with 1.95m.

India’s first completely blind Paralympian Ankur Dhama also won a gold medal in men’s 5000m T1. He clocked 16.37.29s to finish at the top of a three-man field.

Pistol shooter Rudransh Khandelwal also found himself on the podium in P4 mixed 50m Pistol SH1. He shot a score of 218.9 to win the silver medal behind China’s Yang Chao, who set a Games record score in the final.

Medals in Judo, Taekwondo

India also won three medals in combat sports judo and taekwondo on Monday. Aruna Tanwar, who was the first-ever Taekwondoin to represent the country at the Paralympics, won the bronze medal in 47kg women’s K44. This is India’s first-ever taekwondo medal at the Asian Para Games.

Kapil Parmar, on the other hand, clinched silver after losing to the athlete from Yemen in 60kg men’s J1 judo, whereas Kokila picked up the 48kg women’s J2 bronze.

India are currently placed fourth in the medal tally with a total of six gold, six silver, and five bronze medals behind hosts China, Iran, and Uzbekistan.