21-year-old Krishna Nagar from Rajasthan clinched two gold medals at the Dubai 2021 Para Badminton International in April
Top para shuttler Krishna Nagar is “proud” of his qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and is looking to make the opportunity count by claiming the gold medal at the August 24-September 5 event.
Nagar (SH 6 — Short Stature) along with Pramod Bhagat (SL3 — Standing Lower) and Tarun Dhillon (SL4 — Standing Lower) have received official invitations from the Badminton World Federation (BWF) to participate at the Tokyo 2020 Para Games.
SL3 refers to minor standing or lower limb impairment and SL4 means severe lower limb impairment. While SH6 refers to short stature.
“It’s a proud moment for me that I will be part of the Paralympic Games when para badminton is making its debut. And I will definitely try to make it memorable winning the gold. My sole focus is standing on top of the podium,” Nagar told the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
They secured their respective places for the Tokyo Paralympics by virtue of their present impressive BWF world rankings.
Nagar added, “With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing anxiety and crisis to the world, I hope to bring smiles and happy moments for the countrymen through a medal in Tokyo 2020. This will be also a motivation for many upcoming para-athletes.” The 21-year-old from Rajasthan clinched two gold medals at the Dubai 2021 Para Badminton International in April.
Nagar also shared why the Paralympic gold is so important to him.
“I had settled for the bronze at Asian Para Games 2018 and Basel 2019 World Championship, so I don’t want to miss the gold this time. To win the gold at Tokyo 2020 will be very special,” said Nagar, who is currently training in Lucknow.
But he is aware that the road will not be easy at the Games with strong players like Jack Shephard of England, Hong Kong’s Chun Mai Kai waiting in his way to the podium.
Meanwhile, Bhagat said he is highly motivated to do well at the Games now that he has officially qualified for the event.
As of now, five Indian players have received official invitations from the BWF for the Tokyo 2020 Games.
Chief national coach Gaurav Khanna was confident that India will have three more players in men’s singles SL3, SL4 and mixed doubles event through Bipartite rule. The final list is due to be released on July 16.
The women’s doubles pair of Parul Parmar (SL3) and Palak Kohli (SU5) were the first Indian duo to receive the confirmation on their qualification.
“I am expecting a medal each from all the players going to Tokyo. Tarun, Pramod, Krishna are strong contenders for gold medals. Meanwhile, it’s a proud moment for someone so young like Palak qualifying for the Games.
“Training is going on full swing. We are fortunate that now we have a dedicated Badminton Academy for the Para Badminton players, so even if there’s a lockdown our players have a place to train in.
“The spirit in the team is also very high and we are working hard towards our goal. There is also a system in place for each player which will surely help them deliver a medal winning performance in Tokyo.”