June 16, 2024

The Indian contingent at the Special Olympics World Games 2023 got off to a sensational start as Geetanjali Navekar won the first gold medal in the 800meter level C event. This victory marked the beginning of a gold rush for India, as three more gold medals were added by the end of the day’s action.

The Hanns-Braun Stadium at Olympia-park witnessed Geetanjali’s remarkable performance in the early morning, where she clocked a time of 4:31:40, finishing almost eight seconds ahead of her closest competitor to secure India’s first gold. Shortly after, India added a silver medal in the male 800meter event. Due to heavy rainfall, the athletic track action was temporarily halted, and the focus shifted to the indoor arenas spread across Berlin.

Indian athletes showcased their skills in various sports disciplines, including handball, badminton, powerlifting, swimming, and roller skating. In the swimming pool, Dinesh Shanmugam continued his impressive form from the previous day, clinching a silver medal in the Male 50-metre breaststroke, Level A category, with a time of 46.59. Towards the end of the day, Madhav sealed another gold medal for the Indian contingent in the 25-metre breaststroke event.

However, the true highlight of the day came from the roller-skating rink, where Indian athletes secured a remarkable eight medals: two gold, two silver, and four bronze. The Indian athletes showcased their prowess in the 30m straight-line event before moving on to the highly anticipated 500m races.

Saraswati, buoyed by a cheering crowd, emerged as the gold medalist in the 500-metre race, leading right from the start and maintaining her dominance throughout the race. Despite having started roller skating only six months ago, the talented athlete from Haryana has consistently proven herself as a high achiever.

In another thrilling 500-metre race, Deepen Prakash Sakhirani and Angelina Mary Poussin represented India. The duo started neck and neck, but Deepen gradually pulled ahead, ultimately securing the gold medal. Although Angelina finished a brilliant fourth, she was overtaken right at the finish, narrowly missing out on a podium finish.

The powerlifting events also brought glory to India, with Tusharnath Singh winning a silver medal in the Men’s 74kg bench press and a bronze medal in the Men’s 74kg deadlift. Junki Pahadin claimed four silver medals in the Women’s 52kg Bench Press, 52kg Squat, 52kg deadlift, and combined event.

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