Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) chief Deepa Malik is anticipating the nation’s para-athletes to create historical past by recording its best-ever efficiency on the Tokyo Video games starting Tuesday.
India will area its largest contingent with 54 athletes set to compete in 9 sports activities — archery, athletics, badminton, canoeing, taking pictures, swimming, powerlifting, desk tennis and taekwondo.
“Completely, my expectations have already gone past what I used to be anticipating. This yr, India is sending the largest-ever contingent. I’m very hopeful that we’re going to create historical past,” Malik stated when requested if she is anticipating the all time show.
“It’s a contingent which is thrice larger in quantity, we’ve added 4 extra sports activities up to now 4-5 years of hole between 2016-21.
“Virtually two years have gone within the pandemic however regardless of that it’s an enormous leap within the variety of athletes qualifying,” Malik stated throughout a digital press convention to launch a joint marketing campaign with Coca Cola-owned homegrown beverage model Thumbs Up.
The primary girl from India to win a Paralympic medal, Malik stated the statistics are wanting vivid for the Indian contingent.
“It’s not simply qualification it is usually buying the quota on the premise of world rating. The statistics are wanting very vivid, athletes have carried out fairly nicely within the choice trials and the sort of present world rankings they’re holding look very promising.
“As a result of the variety of participation and the variety of sports activities has elevated, we’ve high rating athletes, that provides us an excellent indication that it’s going to be nice Paralympics for Indian historical past.”
On the Rio Video games in 2016, the Indian contingent returned with a haul of 4 medals, together with two gold, a silver and a bronze.
Malik, the Rio Video games silver medallist in shot put, stated the athletes have tailored nicely to the situations within the Video games Village.
Speaking concerning the Covid restrictions, she stated “Now we have to submit our samples each morning for Covid testing. Earlier than coming into anywhere it’s important to give your temperature and preserve a distance. Within the village there are designated lanes.”
Thumbs Up, which has partnered with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Video games, may even be unveiling a marketing campaign that features a sequence of movies and different associated visuals for digital and social media to maintain the audiences linked with the occasion and the Indian athletes collaborating in it.
“My journey of capacity past incapacity has been that of breaking stereotypes and myths round incapacity. The partnership with Thumbs Up is a step ahead in that path,” Malik stated.
The marketing campaign will function six athletes together with Mariyappan Thangavelu (Excessive soar), Sakina Khatun (Powerlifting), Suyash Yadav (Swimming), Navdeep (Javelin throw), Sumit Antil (Javelin throw), and Avani Lekhara (Taking pictures).
Battling odds on virtually each day foundation, the protagonists are seen sporting the “taunts” they’re subjected to on their T-shirts in opposition to the backdrop of the tagline ‘TaanePalatDe’.
Arnab Roy, vice-president and head – advertising and marketing, Coca Cola India and south west Asia stated, “This strategic partnership is our means of standing in solidarity and saluting the sheer grit and dedication of those athletes who’ve come from completely different walks of life however showcase the identical heroism in opposition to all odds and challenges.”