Para Badminton: On The Rise

Indian Para Badminton players have been on the rise in the last 4-5 years. We have a player who is at the number one spot in BWF in the SL category, a player who has struck gold in an International Championship and a disabled IAS officer who won silver medal in The Turkish Badminton International Championship.
These are just a few achievements of the Para Badminton players. Before we get into the triumphs of the players who have achieved international recognition, there are different “Sport Classes”. There are 6 different classes namely WH1 and WH2 (Wheelchair Sports Classes) , SL(Standing Lower), SU(Standing Upper), SS( Short Stature).
SL3(Standing Lower) is for players with disabilities in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance. SL3 , WH1 and WH2 play half court in singles and full court in doubles.
SL4 have lesser impairment compared to SL3, better balance and pace is found in these athletes.  SU are the athletes with impairment in the upper limbs. SL4, SU and SS(Short Stature) athletes play full court in singles as well as doubles.
India won a total of 10 medals including a gold at BWF Para Badminton Championships held from 22 to 26th December 2017 in South Korea.
Parul Parma won both the golds in the championship. She beat Thailands’ Wannaphatdee Khatam in the SL3 category and partnered with Japan’s Akilo Sugino to win the gold medal. Being in her 40s has not slowed her down and she still has the hunger of her younger compatriots.
Tarun Dhillon and Manoj Sarkar won the silver in SL4 and SL3 respectively. Manoj Sarkar had his first international competition in the April of 2012. He has gone on to become the World number 1 in less than 3 years. He clinched gold in the 2013 BWF Championship in Germany. He is an elite in the badminton world and currently holds the number one position in the BWF (SL3).
Manasi Joshi is another name who is rising day by day. All of 28 years old , she is ruling the court currently. She is one of the top names in the Para Badminton world. She won a silver at the Para Badminton Championship in England and also took part in the Spanish Para Badminton Championship where she won gold.
Suhas Lalinaker is an IAS officer and also a self taught badminton player. He bagged the silver medal at the recently concluded 4th Turkish Para Badminton Championship. Back in 2016, he won the gold medal at the Asian Paralympic Championship. He is currently ranked second in his category.
India has been a dominant force in Para Badminton in the last 3-4 years. Our players have won medals all across the globe at various championships. A total of 5 Indians feature in the top 25 in the latest SL3 Rankings while in SL4, three Indians feature in the Top 10 rankings. With Para Badminton being included in the 2020 Olympics, our para badminton team has a great shot at achieving greatness. They have shown great form and showcased where true grit and talent can take you.