Paralympics: Indian powerlifters Jaideep Kumar and Sakina Khatun pose before leaving for Tokyo.© Paralympics India/Twitter

India’s powerlifters Jaideep Kumar and Sakina Khatun along with coach JP Singh left for the Tokyo Paralympic Games on Friday. Jaideep Kumar will take part in the Men’s 65kg category while Sakina Khatun will be competing in the women’s 50kg category. Both the powerlifters shall be competing for medals on August 27 in their respective categories. Hopeful for a medal, Jaideep said: “We have trained hard for the mega event. If everything goes well, we can create history and bring a medal home.”

Sakina Khatun was one of the 10 athletes who interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 17. PM Modi had hailed her as a winner as she not only fought her disability but also extreme poverty.

JP Singh, who has been keeping a close eye on their performances, is more realistic about the chances. He said: “We are not going there with any pressure. If we do our best have little bit luck on event day, our powerlifters will create history.”

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Chef de Mission Gursharan Singh pointed: “Our powerlifters have practiced hard even during the pandemic and their moral is high. Their training has made us believe that they are second to none.”

The contingent was given a warm send-off by officials of the Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India.

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