Paralympics: India’s Prachi qualifies for Canoe sprint semi-final

India’s Prachi Yadav on Thursday qualified for the semi-finals of the canoe sprint event in women’s Va’a single 200m at the Tokyo Paralympics.

The 26-year-old from Bhopal recorded a time of one minute, 11.098 seconds – 13.014 seconds behind leader Great Britain’s Emma Wiggs (58.084s) in class VL2 heat 1 at the Sea Forest Waterway here.

The semi-final will be held on Friday.

Yadav, who is paralysed below her waist, has competed in Para swimming at the national level as well but took up canoeing on the recommendation of her coach Virender Kumar.

Aruna Tanwar enters Taekwondo quarters

India’s taekwondo player Aruna Tanwar on Thursday entered the quarter-finals of the ongoing Tokyo Paralympics after beating Danijela Jovanovic of Serbia in the women K44-49kg category.

Aruna won 29-9 to move to the quarter-finals where she will face Peruvian athlete Leonor Espinoza Carranza later on Thursday. Aruna started the match on a high as she won the first round 8-4 and then continued the winning momentum to seal the second essay.

Riding on confidence, the Indian athlete dominated the third round and won the essay 15-2 to seal the match.

Aruna, the para taekwondo player from village Dinod of Haryana’s Bhiwani district was awarded a wild card entry for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Aruna’s father, Naresh Kumar worked as a driver with a chemical factory to feed his three children. He was delighted to know of his daughter’s selection in June this year as being the first Paralympic player from India to compete in Tokyo.

Shuttlers Suhas, Tarun win; Kohli-Parmar lose

Indian shuttlers Suhas Yathiraj and Tarun Dhillon made impressive starts to their campaign in men’s singles SL4 class on the second day of the badminton competition at the Tokyo Paralympics on Thursday.

The 38-year-old Suhas took just 19 minutes to see off Germany’s Jan Niklas Pott 21-9, 21-3 in a lopsided group A clash.

Tarun, 27, too didn’t break a sweat, beating Thailand’s Siripong Teamarrom 21-7, 21-13 in a group B match that lasted 23 minutes.

While Suhas will face Indonesia’s Hary Susanto next, Tarun will be up against Korea’s Shin Kyung Hwan on Friday.

Suhas, who has an impairment in one of his ankles, has been at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 menace as the district magistrate of Gautam Buddh Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Tarun, on the other hand, had sustained a severe knee injury while playing football at the age of eight, which resulted in restricted movement in the knee. He is the current world no.2 and a former two-time world champion.

The SL class allows persons with standing/lower limb impairment/severe are allowed to compete.

However, there was disappointment in store yet again for 19-year-old Palak Kohli and her partner Parul Parmar, 48, as the duo went down 7-21, 5-21 to second seeded Chinese pair of Cheng Hefang and Ma Huihui in a group B women’s doubles SL3-SU5 class match.

On Wednesday, world no 1 Pramod Bhagat, also the reigning world champion, outwitted fellow Indian Manoj Sarkar 21-10, 21-23, 21-9 in his men’s singles group A class SL3 (standing/lower limb impairment/minor) opener.

But Kohli suffered a 4-21, 7-21 loss to Japan’s Ayako Suzuki in a group A women singles class SU5 (standing/upper limb impairment) match.

In mixed doubles, Kohli and Bhagat, competing in SL3-SU5 class, also went down fighting against their second seeded French opponents Lucas Mazur and Faustine Noel 9-21, 21-15, 19-21 in group B opener. 

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