New Delhi: In a boost to the Paralympic-bound Indian contingent, para swimmer Niranjan Mukundan was on Tuesday granted a bi-partite quota by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
Mukundan's qualification means India will have two para swimmers in its 54-member contingent, the largest ever, after Suyash Narayan Jadhav has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
This is also the first time after the 1972 Heidelberg Games that India will participate in para swimming events. Murlikant Petkar had clinched the country's first ever gold with a world record timing in the 50m freestyle in the 1972 Games.
Jadhav, the 27-year-old from Maharashtra, had booked his slot at the Tokyo 2020 Games with his performances at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games held in Jakarta. He will be competing in the 50m butterfly (S7 category) and the 200m Individual Medley (SM7 category) at Tokyo.
Mukundan, the 26-year-old from Bengaluru, has also made the cut in S7 category where he will be in action in men's 50m butterfly event.
The whopping eight medals at the 2014 IWAS World Junior Games in Stoke Mandeville, UK, has been Mukundan's career highlight. The former junior world champion holds a master's degree in sports management from the Institute of Sports Science and Technology in India.
Paralympic Committee of India President Deepa Malik said, "This is the first time after the 1972 Games that India will have para swimmers competing. This is a proud moment for us as we look to record the best ever show at the Paralympics. I am hopeful that our para swimmers will produce their personal best timings in their respective events."