Tokyo Paralympics Know your sport: Swimming, shooting, archery and powerlifting

Tokyo Paralympics: All you need to know about swimming, shooting, archery and powerlifting at the Paralympics, Indian contenders and medal events.

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics bound Indian shooting contingent: File Picture.   -  PTI


Athletes use two types of bows: the recurve and the compound. 

The recurve features limbs that curve away from the athlete to increase power while the compound bow uses pulleys to reduce the force required at full draw, making it easier to aim mechanical release aids and magnifying sights. 

Recurve archers shoot their arrows at the centre of a target from a distance of 70m, and it is 50m for compound and W1 archers. Each of the 10 rings on the target is a scoring zone. 

One point for hitting the outer ring and 10 points for hitting the centre.

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There are two Paralympic archery classes: open and W1.

W1 athletes have arm and leg impairments and may, therefore, use either bow limited to 45 lbs in draw weight and without magnifying sights. 

In the open class, archers compete standing or on a wheelchair and position themselves at a 90-degree angle to the target and may use body support.   

Athletes use two types of bows: the recurve and the compound.

The recurve target measures 1.22m, with a centre of 12.2cm in diameter. The compound and W1 target is smaller and measures 80 cm, with a centre of 8 cm, in diameter. 

Recurve matches use the set system – the winner of each set receives two set points, and in the event of a tie, one point each is awarded. 

Compound and W1 matches are decided on the cumulative score. 

The competition is a knock-out format until the last two athletes go head to head in the gold medal match. There are both individual and mixed team events, featuring one male and one female athlete. 

Individual sets consist of three arrows and the mixed team of four arrows, two per athlete. Individual matches are the best of five sets, with athletes needing six set points to win. 

Mixed team matches are the best of four sets, with pairs needing five set points to win. 

Individual matches last 15 arrows. Mixed matches last 16 arrows, eight per athlete. In all events =, if the match is tied there is a shoot-off where the closest arrow to the middle wins.

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Indians in para-archery: 


Recurve: Harvinder Singh, Vivek Chikara 

Compound: Rakesh Sharma, Shyam Sundar Swami


Compound: Jyoti Baliyan


Powerlifters are split into 10 different categories based on body weight for each gender. Powerlifting consists of one discipline: a bench press. 

Each competitor has two minutes to complete their attempt. When the lifter has the bar under full control, they must wait until they receive the command ‘start’. 

Then they have to lower the bar in a controlled manner and definitely stop it on the chest.  

Next, they press it upwards, lock out both elbows simultaneously and hold the bad under control until the referees command to rack. 

At least two white lights are required from the three referees for a good lift. A red lift indicates a bad lift. 

Athletes have three attempts, and the athlete with the heaviest lift wins. 

In the third round, weight changes are permitted. which can be higher or lower. No changes are allowed if the lifter has already been called to the platform by the speaker and/or if the bar has been loaded.

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Indians in powerlifting:

Jaideep Kumar, men’s 65 kg category

Sakina Khatun, women’s 50 kg weight category.

Para - Shooting

Shooters shoot a static target in standing, kneeling or prone positions from distances of 10m, 25m and 50m. 

In the para-trap event, athletes use a shotgun to hit moving clay targets propelled into the air from machines under the ground. 

In vision impairment sports, athletes use an audio signal to guide them in their aiming, with the audio signal rising in pitch as the point of aim moves nearer to the centre of the target. 

Different classes of competitions:

SH1 (Rifle) - Athletes with lower limb impairment

SH1(Pistol) - Athletes with upper and/or lower limb impairment

SH2 (Rifle) - Athletes with upper limb impairment

SGS (para-trap) - Athletes with poor balance and/or trunk stability (sitting position)

SGL (para-trap) - Athletes with good balance and trunk function and lower limb impairment (standing position)

SGU (para-trap) - Athletes with impairment in the non-shooting arm

SHVI (Rifle) - Athletes with vision impairment

The categories in which India is participating are: 

P1 - Men’s 10m Air pistol SH1

P2 - Women’s 10m Air pistol SH1

P3 - Mixed 25m Air pistol SH1

P4 - Mixed 50m Air pistol SH1

R1 - Men’s 10m air rifle standing SH1

R2 - Women’s 10m air rifle standing SH1

R3 - Mixed 10m rifle prone SH1

R6 - Mixed 50m rifle prone SH1

R7 - Men’S 50m rifle 3 positions SH1

R8 - Women’s 50m rifle 3 positions SH1

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Indians in para-shooting: 


Manish Narwal (P1, P4)

Singhraj (P1, P4)

Deepender Singh (P1)

Deepak (R1, R6, R7)

Sidhartha Babu (R3, R6)

Swaroop Mahavir Unhalkar (R1)

Akash (P3, P4)

Rahul Jakhar (P3)


Avani Lekhara (R2, R3, R6, R8)

Rubina Francis (P2)


The Paralympic pool is the same as the Olympic pool 50m x 25m. There are 10 lanes, but only eight are used. 

Race distances range from one length of the pool – 50 m – to 8 lengths in the 400 meters and the relay. Sensitive touchpads are used at either end of each lane to record finishing times.

Athletes compete in freestyle, backstroke, butterfly, breaststroke, medley and relay events. 

Competitors can start the race in various positions including standing or sitting on or beside the block, or starting in the water, depending on their impairment. 

No prosthetics are allowed during the competition. 

Swimming is open to athletes with a diverse range of impairments. They are categorised as 

Physical impairment – (S1-S10)

Physical impairment is divided into 10 classes. Lower numbers indicate a greater level of a physical impediment in swimming performance.  

Visual Impairment – (S11-S13)

Visually impaired swimmers have assistance from “tappers” who warn about the approaching wall and need to turn or to make certain of a firm contact at the finish. Lower the number greater the loss of vision. 

S11 are required to use blackened goggles in all their events to ensure fair competition. 

Intellectual Impairment – S14

Types of events: 

S – Freestyle, backstroke, butterfly

SB – Breaststroke

SM – Medley events    

Indians in para-swimming:

Suyash Jadhav - 50 m Butterfly of S7 category; 200 m Individual Medley in SM7 category

Niranjan Mukundan - men’s 50 m Butterfly in the S7 category   

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