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I want to win medals in all three events, says teenage para shuttler Palak Kohli

Indian para badminton player Palak Kohli

Palak Kohli is aiming for a podium finish in all three events she will take part in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, which will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

The teenager became the youngest para-shuttler to qualify for the Paralympic Games in all three para badminton events.

“I want to excel in all three events at the Paralympics. I am putting in a lot of hard work in practice in a bid to achieve podium finish in all the events. I am not content with just qualifying for the Paralympics. I want to bring laurels to the country by winning medals,” said Palak Kohli.

Eighteen-year-old Punjab girl Palak will compete in the singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles events at the upcoming Tokyo Paralympics, a first for an Indian para-shuttler.

“I am confident of doing well in singles as well as doubles. It has always been my dream to achieve something for the country. Tokyo Paralympics has given me a wonderful opportunity to excel for the nation. For the last few months we have been doing a lot of hard work in training with the sole aim of shining for the country,” said Palak.

Palak received her Badminton World Federation (BWF) invitation to participate in the women’s singles (SU5) category as well as in the SL3-SU5 mixed doubles. The Jalandhar girl has already qualified for the women’s doubles with Parul Parmar of Gujarat.

Palak is ranked No. 11 in the world in the SU5 women’s singles category

In the SU5 singles category, Palak is ranked world No. 11 owing to her brilliant performances over the last couple of years. Para-badminton is making its debut in the Paralympics at the Tokyo Games. Palak will partner Pramod Bhagat of Orissa in the mixed doubles.

Palak Kohli with Indian para badminton coach Gaurav Khanna (left)
Palak Kohli with Indian para badminton coach Gaurav Khanna (left)

The coach of the Indian para badminton team Gaurav Khanna was satisfied with the progress of Palak and four other Indian players who qualified for Tokyo.

“Palak has been steadily improving. She has a lot of potential. She is capable of producing results in all three events. Although she is quite young, she has a balanced game and moves fast on the court. We have worked on her game and she has shown splendid improvements. So far five players have qualified and we are hopeful of a couple of more players to make the cut for the Tokyo Paralympics,” said Gaurav Khanna.

All five athletes to qualify so far have been training at Lucknow under the guidance of national coach Gaurav Khanna for the last several months. The Indian para-badminton team will leave for Tokyo on August 25 while the matches will commence on September 1.


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Janice Tilson

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