Krishna Nagar on overcoming jibes and mental barriers to clinch Tokyo Paralympic glory
Krishna Nagar was one of the stars for India at the Tokyo Paralympics, winning the hearts and minds of the Indian fans with a gold medal in badminton. His triumph in the men's SH6 class at Tokyo Paralympics was a moment of vindication for Nagar, having endured a lot of negativity in his formative years due to his short-stature impairment.
Nagar, however, took the comments on a lighter note on most occasions but admits that there were tough times. But he remained positive and grabbed the opportunity to prove his point at Tokyo.
"When I had nothing (to show for in my career), then people used to criticize me, tell me that 'I cannot do anything' and that included my classmates," Nagar told Olympics.com.
"But I never felt bad that people were mocking my height because I could take it and give it back at the same time. I took these things on a lighter note. I only felt bad when people told me that you cannot do well in your career," he added.
And he rightly proved them wrong with his success at Tokyo Paralympics. But admits that it would not have been possible to achieve the feat without the guidance of Indian para-badminton chief coach Gaurav Khanna.
"I think the gold medal at the Paralympics is a huge achievement for me as all the hard work of the last few years paid off. It was ever since para-badminton was added to the Paralympics programme that we had set the big target to achieve anyhow. It was a big achievement not just for me but also my coach Gaurav Khanna," Nagar said.
Maintaining a positive attitude also helped Nagar to break a mental barrier and clinch his first major gold medal. He had earlier clinched a bronze medal each in the 2019 World Championships and 2018 Asian Para Games.
"I like to play to my strengths. Even if my opponent is stronger and plays really well, I can keep a positive attitude and overcome the challenges. It's like giving your best all the time. We worked really hard on positivity during the training before the Paralympics," the Rajasthan-born shuttler said.
"My biggest strength is my court coverage despite my height. It is also my speed and jump smash and the idea to remain fast around the net that helps my game," he further explained.
Nagar, now, wants to celebrate his success to the fullest before starting his training all-over again from 'zero' to maintain his rhythm for the Paris Paralympics in 2024.