New Delhi: Powerlifters Ashok and Sudhir booked their tickets to the Hangzhou Asian Para Games as India finished with 22 medals, including six golds, at the Asia-Oceania Open Championships in South Korea’s Pyeongtaek.
Ashok took two golds in men’s under 65 kg (total score) in Asia and Open events, while Joby Mathew took four yellow metals in men under 59 kg (best weight and total score) in Master’s Asia and Open events.
On the last day of the individual events on Monday, Sudhir claimed a bronze medal in men under 88 kg with a best lift of 214 kg in the second round to finish behind Jordan’s Paralympic and World Champion Abdelkareem Khattab (241 kg) and the Chinese Jixiong Ye (233 kg).
Overall, the Indian team took six gold, four silver and 12 bronze medals. China finished on top with 29 medals, including 21 gold.
Ashok and Sudhir will now compete with Parmjeet Kumar (men under 49 kg) and Sakina Khatun (women under 45 kg) in the Hangzhou Asian Para Games, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation in China, and are likely to make the cut make for the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games because of their improvement in the world rankings.
“This is the best performance of our powerlifters in an international championship. Not only did we win several medals; Two powerlifters made the cut for Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games and are expected to make the cut for Paris 2024. It was a very satisfying performance by the team,” national team manager JP Singh said in a press release.
He said the para-powerlifters are now focused on doing well at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“The goal is to win at least 2-3 medals at the CWG.”
Parmjeet, Khatun, Sudhir, Geeta and Manpreet Kaur will represent India in the Para Powerlifting events at the Birmingham event, which kicks off on July 28.
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