Curtains have gone down for the Special Olympics World Games 2023 with a huge closing ceremony on Monday organized in Berlin, Germany. The Indian contingent earned a whopping total of 202 medals throughout this tournament by even crossing the 200 mark. This includes 76 gold medals, 75 silver ones and 51 being bronze medals.
The Special Olympics World Games 2023 started on June 17, and ended on June 25. This was the first time that Germany hosted this event. It included around 7000 athletes from approximately 170 countries taking part in across 24 sports, with about 3000 coaches and 20000 of the volunteers. The bid process for the event hosting began back in November 2017. Moreover, Germany was the only interested ones to host this big event.
Expressing about the country’s performance at the Special Games in Berlin, Dr. Mallika Nada (Chairperson Special Olympics Bharat) was delighted to highlight not only athletes performance but also the need for acceptance for them by the mainstream athletes.
She told that a huge number of India’s athletes have faced discrimination in various forms. They are even regarded as the non functioning members part of society in various walks. It is an absolutely obsolete and inaccurate thought she explained. The performances these athletes give in the field of sports very much prove that they are very much capable. She further expresses the hope that this opens the eyes of the society and even proves that we need to expand our acceptance and inclusiveness towards this part of our society.
SOME OF THE MEDAL HIGHLIGHTS ARE:
T Vishal won silver medal for India in the powerlifting event
T Vishal began India’s medal search at the big platform of the Special Olympics World Games. This 16-year-old Indian powerlifter made the country proud by winning a silver medal. He got the medal for the men’s squat, bench press, deadlift and combined category. He did a lift for the total of 362.50. Lauryanas Saulis of Lithuania got a gold in this category with a lift total of 415.
This Puducherry athlete was keen to start sports after he saw Paralympics. When T Vishal showed signs of a delay in growth, his parents motivated him to start sports as the extracurriculars. Recently, when his father came to know about this big event of Special Olympics World Games, he prepared Vishal for these games. T Vishal has made his country proud despite of his disabilities.
Geetanjali Nagvekar got the first gold
Geetanjali Nagvekar got the first Gold medal for the country in the athletics track event of the tournament (Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023).
Indian runner Geetanjali Nagvekar won the gold medal in the category of 800m Level C track event. This 19-year-old girl from Goa competed against Canada’s Jolyn Watts and Ukraine’s Kateryna Kudriavtseva in the final and defeated them to win the gold medal for India.
Dinesh Kumar (Swimming)
An Indian swimmer Dinesh Kumar won the silver medal in the 50 meter breaststroke (male) event. He also became the second Indian athlete to clinch a silver medal in Special Olympics World Games of this year. Dinesh Kumar recorded the timing of 00:46.59, being ahead of Caleb Lake’s of Canada 00:46.94 for winning silver medal. Aris Markis clinched the gold with the record timing of 00:43.91.
Saraswati (Roller Skating)
Saraswati was all in a fiery form when she clinched the gold medal in the event of 500m roller skating race at the stage of Special Olympics World Games, held in Berlin. She even dominated in the event and skated right to her coaches, who were encouraging and cheering her. Meanwhile, an athlete named Angelina Mary Poussin won the silver medal in the event of the 100m race.
Ranveer Saini, Rahul Agrawal and Ankush Saha (Golf)
Ranveer Saini and Rahul Agarwal as a team showcased India’s form in the field of golf by clinching the gold medal there. This duo played four rounds and were even leading on the all four days. They won by a big record-breaking margin of total 18 shots. Whereas, Ankush Saha stood out on the top in the Level 1 golf.
Suhali Parveen, Prince Solanki and Muskan (Judo)
Suhali Parveen won the silver medal in the Judo sport and worked for opening India’s medal account on last Thursday. She was further joined by two more of Judo medallists on the mat within the next 24 hours. Prince Solanki clinched the bronze medal in the level 2 male category whereas Muskan won a gold in the level 3 female category.
Medals in Table tennis
Medals won in table tennis category were as follows:
In a thrilling all-Indian players final in the U21-D3 category, Vighnesh Lokeshwar Naik fought against Gunocean Singh Bedu and defeated him to win gold. In the women’s singles (30-D3 category), Alivelamma Gujjala clinched the gold medal.
Basketball as sport in particular was mostly a thrilling all-Indian ruled event. In the men’s/mixed category of 5×5 basketball India defeated Portugal 6-3 to win the gold. The women’s 5×5 team category was in the final, but defeated by the Sweden to finish with the silver medal.
In powerlifting of the 93kg category, Anurag Prasad won three prestigious gold medals (category- squad, deadlift and combined). He also won a silver also in the bench press. In the athletic field, India’s relay team; the men’s 4x100m team including Gajendra Kumar, Saket Kundu Baishnab Rajpalia and Rohan qualified for the final tournament. They finished at the fourth position being edged out in the competition by Canada by a minor seven hundredths of a second.