If Not For Covid-19, I Might Have Won Gold Or Silver: Indian Paralympian

Indian shooter Singhraj Adhana clinched the bronze medal in the P1 - Men's 10m Air Pistol SH1 final of Tokyo Paralympics. (@AdhanaSinghraj, @Tokyo2020hi/Twitter)

TOKYO — Down with Covid-19 in May this year, Indian shooter Singhraj Adhana defied the odds to clinch the bronze medal in the P1 — Men’s 10 meters Air Pistol SH1 final of Tokyo Paralympics on Aug. 31.

Adhanaj had contracted Covid-19 three months ago and was hospitalized for 15 days. The Indian shooter said he might have won silver or gold on Aug. 31 if the Covid-19 pandemic did not hamper his training regime.

“I contracted Covid-19 in May this year,” said Adhanaj.

“I was down with fever and was hospitalized; when I recovered, I felt like a second birth. I resumed training one month after recovering fully from Covid-19; if not for Covid-19, I might have had won gold or silver.”

“Postponement of Tokyo Games didn’t benefit me as I was in a good rhythm in 2020. If Paralympics were staged in 2020, more shooters would have won medals, and I would have had a medal of a different color,” said Adhana.

After finishing sixth in the qualification round, Singhraj started well in the final as he was placed in the top 3 during the first ten shots while amassing 99.6 points.

The Indian shooter was aiming for gold and had complete faith in his abilities; however, he did feel bad for compatriot Manish Narwal, who got eliminated during the final round.

“Exceptional performance by Singhraj Adhana! India’s talented shooter brings home the coveted Bronze Medal,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a tweet.

“He has worked tremendously hard and achieved remarkable successes. Congratulations to him, and best wishes for the endeavors ahead.”

“I had faith in my abilities, and I was aiming for gold, not just for the top three positions. I had prepared for the top spot,” said Adhana.

“When I was in the fourth position, I saw all athletes ahead of me were Chinese, and meanwhile, Manish Narwal too was eliminated. I felt very bad and said to myself, now there is no chance of making a mistake. I remembered God and registered a perfect shot to reach third (position).”

“Singhraj Adana’s winning the bronze medal in shooting at Paralympics marks a high point in his saga of resilience and determined pursuit of excellence,” President of India Ram Nath Kovind tweeted.

“Congratulations to him for this amazing feat! The nation is proud of you. May you achieve greater glory in the years to come.

Adhana has set his eyes on Paris Olympics and will be resuming training for the Games 2024 as soon as he arrives in India.

“I have designed an international level shooting range at home. I have named it ‘Mission Olympic’ and have written on them Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024,” Adhana said.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Saptak Datta and Praveen Pramod Tewari

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