Teenage armless archer Sheetal Devi achieved a historic feat by becoming the first Indian woman to secure two gold medals in a single edition of the Asian Para Games. Indian para-athletes on October 28 created history with a record-breaking 111 medals at Hangzhou Asian Para Games.
Indian para athletes have now achieved most medals for the country in any major international multi-sport event. They won 29 gold, 31 silver, and 51 bronze medals, placing fifth in the medal count.
India surpassed 2018’s best Asian Para Games tally of 72 medals, earning 39 more medals, and athletics accounting for 55 of India’s total of 111 medals. “We have made history, our para athletes have made the country proud,” Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik said.
Sheetal Devi, a 16-year-old from Jammu and Kashmir was born with phocomelia syndrome, a rare congenital disorder, which kept her limbs underdeveloped. She holds her bow with her foot. Discovered at a military camp in a remote part of Kishtwar and adopted by the Indian Army in her childhood, the teenager became the first armless woman to win a Para World Archery Championships medal in July.
The para athletes did better than their able-bodied counterparts who had won a record haul of 107 medals in the Hangzhou Asian Games held from September 23 to October 8.