Paralympic Games 2024: India para-badminton coach Gaurav Khanna vows to win 10 medals


Team India’s para-badminton coach Gaurav Khanna has set a target of 10 medals from the next Paralympic Games in Paris.

Addressing a packed press conference after felicitating Tokyo Paralympics bronze medallist Manoj Sarkar and several young stars of the Ageas Federal Life Insurance ‘Quest for Fearless Shuttlers’ initiative, Gaurav Khanna revealed, “we have drawn out a holistic plan to build on our recent successes with the aim of making India a true world force in para-badminton.”

He added: “I vow today that we will come back with at least 10 medals from the 2024 edition of the Games. We have been winning medals at every event, including in World Championships. But our success in Tokyo, where we won an unprecedented four medals, including two gold, one silver and one bronze, has changed everything.”

Gaurav Khanna, a Dronacharya Awardee, had launched the country’s first para-badminton academy to mould the current crop of shuttlers. In association with Ageas Federal Life Insurance, he had also set in motion the Quest for Fearless Shuttlers’ initiative to spot and train players for the 2024 to 2036 Paralympics.

“As a socially responsible company, we have always supported sports at the grassroots level to encourage everybody to be fit and active. We are particularly proud of our association with the Gaurav Khanna high-performance academy and are in sync with his vision to produce future champions,” Karthik Raman, Chief Marketing Officer, Ageas Federal Life Insurance, said.

Indian youngsters had created waves earlier this month, grabbing as many as 54 medals (16 Gold, 13 Silver and 25 Bronze) in the Spain Para Badminton International (Level 1 & 2 competitions).

“When I received the medal in Tokyo, I could only think of the day my mother had given me INR 10 to buy a badminton racquet. I never knew that I would win glory for the country or that I would be felicitated like this,” Manoj Sarkar said during the ceremony.

As many as seven specially-abled players, including Abu Hubaida, Prem Kumar Ale, Chirag Baretha, Nithya Sre, Nilesh Gaikwad, Hardik Makkar and Mandeep Kaur, all part of the AFLI initiative, were also felicitated on the occasion.

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