Ravneet Singh

Tribune press service

Patiala, September 15

Paralympic bronze medalist Harvinder Singh Dhanju, who once considered quitting archery due to poor performance, now has his sights set on the Senior World Championships, which are due to be held in Dubai in February of the next year. He is the first Indian to win an archery medal at the Paralympic Games.

The archer reached the University of Punjabi campus today where a congratulatory ceremony was held to welcome him. A rally was held from Gurdwara Sahib, Bahadurgarh, which reached the university campus with all fanfare.

In chatting with The Tribune, Harvinder said he is thrilled with his achievement and aims to perform better in the future. “I am happy to have won a medal for my country. This has been possible with the support of my family, coaches, the university and the government. Soon I will start training for the world championship, which will be held in Dubai, ”said Harvinder.

He started archery on the college campus in 2013, Harvinder added. “Since then, we have faced a number of challenges. Initially, my performance was not up to par. I had planned to stop the game, but my coaches decided to change my event from compound to recurve. Subsequently, I started to perform better. Plus, my coaches arranged expensive college equipment for me, which gave me a much needed boost, ”Harvinder said.

Commenting on the Tokyo Paralympic Games, Harvinder added, “Indian players have managed to win 19 Paralympic Games medals this year. This number is higher than any medals Indian players have won in previous Paralympic Games. This shows that the government has invested in sport in recent years.

The young medalist had one day decided to quit the sport during his training days.

His trainer Gaurav Sharma said: “Instead, we changed his event to compound and started training him for the recurve category. He later competed in the 2017 International Paralympic Games held in China. Later in 2018, he became the first player to win gold for India at the Asian Paralympic Games. Today he made history by winning India’s very first archery medal.