Armless archer Sheetal Devi first Indian woman to win 2 Asian Para Games gold as country's medal rush continues

Earlier this week, Sheetal won a gold in the compound mixed team event and women's doubles silver

October 27, 2023 02:12 pm | Updated 02:12 pm IST - Hangzhou

India’s Sheetal Devi competes in the women’s individual compound archery event at the 4th Asian Para Games, in Hangzhou, China on Oct. 27, 2023. Devi won the gold medal in the event.

India’s Sheetal Devi competes in the women’s individual compound archery event at the 4th Asian Para Games, in Hangzhou, China on Oct. 27, 2023. Devi won the gold medal in the event. | Photo Credit: PTI

Teenaged armless archer Sheetal Devi on October 27 became the first Indian woman to win two gold medals in a single edition of the Asian Para Games by claiming the top honours in the women's individual compound event here.

It is a hat-trick of medals for the 16-year-old from Jammu and Kashmir, who holds her bow with her foot.

Earlier this week, Sheetal won a gold in the compound mixed team event and women's doubles silver.

Discovered at a military camp in a remote part of Kishtwar and adopted by the Indian Army in her childhood, Sheetal, who became the first armless woman to win a Para World Archery Championships medal in July, defeated Singapore's Alim Nur Syahidah 144-142 in the gold medal match.

Ankur Dhama had become the first Indian to win two gold medals in a single edition earlier this week.

India's medal rush continued on the penultimate day of competitions as the country's tally swelled to 94 medals with shuttlers contributing with nine medals.

Reigning Paralympic champion shuttler Pramod Bhagat secured a gold medal in the single SL3 category as he outplayed compatriot Nitesh Kumar 22-20, 21-19 in the final.

"Firstly a huge congratulations to Nitesh Kumar, I think he played the game of his life, but unfortunately ended up with a silver, He is a brilliant player and pushes me till the edge which he did today.” said Bhagat.

"Somehow even when I was trailing, I had a belief that I would make a comeback and could win, the thought of losing never occurred to me. I focused on 1 point at a time and made it possible," he added.

Tokyo Paralympics silver medallist IAS officer Suhas Lalinakere Yathiraj bettered his bronze from the last edition by winning gold in the SL4 final. Sukant Kadam took home the bronze in the same event.

Thulasmathi Murugesan warded off the challenge posed by local shuttler Yang Qiuxia by eking out a 21-19, 21-19 win to clinch the coveted yellow metal in the women's SU5 final. Additionally, India's Manisha Ramadass grabbed the bronze medal.

In in the men's doubles SL3-SLF4, Nitesh and Tarun won the gold while Bhagat combined with Sukant to bag the bronze.

Reigning Paralympic champion Krishna Nagar settled for a silver as he went down fighting 10-21, 21-8, 11-21 against Hong Kong's Chu Man Kai in the men's SH6 final.

In athletics, Raman Sharma reigned supreme in the men's 1500m T38 event with a new Asian and Games record time of 4:20.80s while javelin throwers Pradeep Kumar (25.94m) and Laxit (21.20m) clinched the silver and bronze medals in the F54 event with personal best efforts.

Discuss thrower Lakshmi too found a place on the podium as she bagged the bronze medal with a personal best effort of 22.55m in the women's F37.38 final.

Archers Rakesh Kumar defeated Iran's Alisin Manshaezadeh in 144(10)-144(9) in a shoot-off to win the silver medal in men's compound event.

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