The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics finally came to an end on 5 September with the closing ceremony held at the Olympic Stadium. India had a memorable outing in this edition as it finished at 24th position. The country bettered its position by 19 places as compared to the previous edition, 2016 Rio Paralympics, where it finished in 43rd place. India’s para shooter Avani Lekhara, who won two medals for the nation, was chosen as the side's flag-bearer at the closing ceremony.
The 19-year-old led the Indian contingent by holding the Indian tricolour with pride. Deepa Malik, President of Paralympic Committee of India (PCI), shared the video of the historic moment. “Change begins with sports... First time a woman para athlete marches with the National Flag.. thank you @AvaniLekhara .. you so richly deserve this honor. You have in true sense won the hearts of Indians. #Tokyoparalympics2020 #closingceremony Oh it's farewell time already. Sayonara,” she wrote in the caption.
Watch the video here:
India bag record 19 medals at Tokyo Paralympics
The 2020 Summer Paralympics is indeed India’s best-ever outing at the history of the competition. The Indian contingent, comprising 54 para athletes in total, secured a record 19 medals and took India’s Paralympic medal haul to a massive 31. India bagged five gold, eight silver, and six bronze medals. Avani Lekhara, India’s flag-bearer at the closing ceremony, won two medals (1 Gold and 1 Bronze) in the respective events. Notably, she became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic gold medal.
Apart from Avani, Krishna Nagar, Pramod Bhagat, Sumit Antil, and Manish Narwal won the other four gold medals for the nation. India did pretty well in athletics as well as it won a total of eight medals, four in high jump, one in discus throw, and three in javelin throw. Mariyappan Thangavelu and Devendra Jhahajria, the two gold medalists of the Rio edition, won silver medals in their respective events this time.