Singhraj Adhana know mononymously as Singhraj, is an Indian Paralympian and shooter as well. He won a silver medal in the Mixed 50m pistol SH1 and a bronze medal in the Men’s P1 10 metre air pistol SH1 at the 2020 Summer Paralympics. The 39 year old from Haryana doesn’t see his sporting to be just about his impairment or the struggle, but the hard work he has put in to compete at the Paralympics after picking up the sport at 35. He is more forthcoming when talking about the shooting range he designed and built to home to train during the pandemic than recounting his journey and how he needed a stick to walk in his early days of life after contracting polio as a child.
“I got polio when I was only one year old, there was no polio drops in the village. But my parents and grandmother didn’t give up. I used to walk with the help of a stick and my mother would always say you have trust in yourself to walk on your feet. By the grace of God, I left the stick and started walking without the stick when I was about 14-15 year old. Vishwas ki jeet thi,” he added.
Belief and luck are important keywords and he showed that in his performance at Tokyo. He was sixth in qualifying for the eight shooter final while teen shooter Manish Narwal topped. He started strong in the final and was placed second at the end of the first Competition Stage. This meant that going into Elimination stage, he was in line for good finish.
But a stray 8.7 on his 16th shot and after two 9s in the previous series made for some nervous moments. By the end, there were only three Chinese shooters and Adhana left in the field and a medal was a matter of one shot. Adhana dropped out of contention with his poor 19th shot, a 9.1, while Chinse shooter Xiaolong Lou shot a 10.4. But the Indian bounced back with his 20th attempt, while his opponent stumbled. In an elimination battle, he shot 9.6 with that shot while Lou shot 8.6 to go out.
“My dream of GOLD MEDAL is incomplete but I am very happy for the medals I have won for the nation and increased the pride,” he added.