Indians at Tokyo 2020 Paralympics: Full list of records set at most successful Summer Games
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics turned out to be India’s most successful Para Games yet.
India sent a 54-member-strong contingent – its biggest-ever - to the Summer Paralympics 2020. The athletes, too, didn’t disappoint and won a whopping 19 medals - five gold, eight silver, six bronze – to mark Tokyo as India’s most successful Paralympic outing to date.
En route, the Indian athletes also set, broke and equalled several para records.
Here’s a full list of records Indians created in Tokyo.
India’s highest medals tally at any single edition of the Paralympics – 19 at Tokyo 2020
Heading into the Tokyo Paralympics, India had won 12 medals in 10 editions.
By the time the Games ended, the nation boasted 31 medals with 19 coming at Tokyo 2020. The haul comfortably eclipsed India’s previous highest medals tally at the Para Games – four each at the Stoke Mandeville & New York Games in 1984 and Rio 2016.
With five gold, eight silver and six bronze medals, India finished 24th among 162 participating nations on the medals tally where positions are based on number of golds won, followed by silver and bronze. If the rankings were based on total medals won, India would have been in 20th position.
Indian athlete to win most Paralympic medals - Devendra Jhajharia equals Joginder Singh Bedi
Joginder Singh Bedi created history at the 1984 Para Games, winning three medals (silver in men’s shot put L6, bronze in men’s javelin F46 and another bronze in men’s discus throw L6).
After Bedi’s feat at Stoke Mandeville, India went through a 20-year-long medal drought at the Para Games which was finally broken by Devendra Jhajharia, who returned with a gold in men’s javelin F44/46 from Athens 2004.
Following another gold in men’s javelin F46 at Rio 2016 and a silver in the same discipline at Tokyo 2020, Devendra Jhajaria equalled Joginder Singh Bedi’s long-standing record of three Paralympic medals. Now, the two jointly hold the record of being India’s most successful athlete at the Paralympic Games.
First Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal – Avani Lekhara in shooting
With two medals – a gold in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 and bronze in women’s 50m air rifle SH1 - on her debut Paralympics at Tokyo, shooter Avani Lekhara became the toast of the nation.
Avani Lekhara’s first Tokyo 2020 medal in 10m air rifle made the 19-year-old the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal while her second in 50m earned her the distinction of the first female athlete from India to win two medals at the Para Games.
New Paralympic record, equalled world record in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1 – Avani Lekhara
En route to the historic gold medal in women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1, Avani Lekhara shot 249.6 in the final – a new Paralympic record in the discipline.
The score also saw her equal the existing world record created by Ukraine’s Iryna Shchetnik at the European Para shooting championships in Belgrade back in 2018.
First Indian archer to win a Paralympic medal – Harvinder Singh in individual recurve-open
Though archery has been a part of the Paralympic sports roster since 1960, India had to wait till Tokyo 2020 to celebrate their first medal in the discipline.
The credit goes to recurve archer Harvinder Singh, who won bronze in the men's individual recurve - open event at Tokyo.
Though Harvinder Singh lost to USA's Kevin Mather, the eventual gold medallist, in the semi-finals, he defeated South Korea's Kim Min Su via shoot off in a thrilling bronze medal match to script history.
First Indian table tennis player to win a Paralympic medal – Bhavina Patel in women’s singles Class 4
Playing at her maiden Paralympics, Indian table tennis player Bhavina Patel upset a host of top draws in her field, including reigning champion Borislava Peric of Serbia, to make the final.
She lost to world No. 1 Zhou Ying of China and settled for the silver medal but Bhavina Patel had already entered the record books as India’s first table tennis player to win a Paralympic medal. It was also India’s first medal at Tokyo 2020.
World and Paralympic record in men’s javelin F64 – Sumit Antil
India’s Sumit Antil clinched gold in the men’s javelin F64 event at Tokyo 2020 with a best throw of 68.55m. The effort also saw him better his own previous world record of 62.88m, set in Dubai at the 2019 para athletics world championships.
Paralympic record in P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 - Manish Narwal
Indian shooter Manish Narwal’s gold medal-winning 218.2 points in the final of the P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1 event established the new Paralympic record in the discipline. The world record in the category is 229.1 and is also held by Narwal.
Asian record in men’s high jump T47 - Nishad Kumar
Nishad Kumar’s 2.06m effort en route to the silver medal in the men’s high jump T47 category in Tokyo saw him equal his own personal best, also an Asian record, set at the 2021 World Para Athletics FAZZA Grand Prix in Dubai.
USA’s Roderick Townsend-Roberts defended his gold medal in the discipline with a world record jump measuring 2.15m.
Asian record in men’s high jump T64 - Praveen Kumar
India’s Praveen Kumar bagged the silver medal in men’s high jump T64 at Tokyo with an Asian record-setting leap of 2.07m.
The previous Asian mark of 2.05m was also in Praveen Kumar’s name. He achieved it at the 2021 World Para Athletics FAZZA Grand Prix in Dubai.