In a groundbreaking achievement, Indian para-athletes have etched their names in history by amassing the highest-ever medal tally for India in the Para Asian Games. A remarkable total of 111 medals, including an impressive 29 gold medals, was clinched by these determined athletes. This extraordinary feat surpasses India’s prior best performances and underscores the country’s burgeoning prowess in the world of sports.
Notably, India had previously secured 14 medals in the 2010 edition of the Para Asian Games, 33 in 2014, and 72 in 2018. However, the 2023 performance has raised the bar to an unprecedented level, marking India’s most impressive showing since the inception of the Games. The overall medal tally placed India in the fifth position, underscoring the nation’s growing prominence in para-athletic competitions.
A critical factor contributing to this historic accomplishment was the substantial Indian contingent comprising 303 athletes, with 191 male and 112 female participants. Female athletes made a substantial contribution to this extraordinary medal tally, accounting for 36% of the total medals with 40 to their credit.
Speaking about this record-breaking achievement, Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, emphasized the dedication of Indian athletes. He highlighted the instrumental role played by schemes like the Khelo India Scheme at the grassroots level and the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for elite athletes. These initiatives have provided essential support, leading to the exceptional results witnessed in the Para Asian Games.
Thakur further noted that eight Khelo India Athletes and 46 TOPS athletes were part of the Indian contingent at the Games, contributing to a significant 38 medals out of the total of 111. The substantial increase in the sports budget, which is now three times greater than in 2014, has also enhanced India’s ability to provide comprehensive support to its athletes. This includes provisions for coaches, training, foreign exposure, dietary requirements, and the development of essential sporting infrastructure.
Praising the athletes’ splendid performance, Thakur echoed PM Modi’s recent statements, emphasizing India’s rising prowess in the world of sports. The Union Minister noted that India’s remarkable showing extends to various international events, including the Asian Games, Para Asian Games, Olympics, Paralympics, and Commonwealth Games. India is not only achieving commendable results but is also gearing up to host significant sporting events, as indicated by PM Modi’s recent statement at the International Olympic Committee meeting. The country is now ready to host major events, including the Youth Olympics in 2030 and the Summer Olympics in 2036.