India's Aruna Tanwar, world No.4 in the women's U 49 category, has been awarded a wild card entry for the Tokyo Paralympic Games 2020. She thus becomes the first Indian taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Paralympics.
This good news comes after India failed to make it to the Paralympic qualifiers because of Covid-19 restrictions on Indians travelling abroad.
Aruna received the wild card based on her exemplary past performances. A five-time national champion, she has consistently attained a podium finish in the last four years at both the Asian Para Taekwondo Championships and the World Para Taekwondo Championships.
The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5 in Tokyo.
"It's such a great beginning for India taekwondo. This is the first taekwondo athlete from India that has qualified for the Paralympics. This has opened the doors for all the aspiring athletes, especially all the female athletes, that want to be in this position," said Namdev Shirgaonkar, president of India Taekwondo.
"We are extremely proud of Aruna and are hopeful for a podium finish. India Taekwondo has recommended her name for TOPS (Target Olympics Podium Scheme) for extended necessary support to make the dream of Paralympic medal a reality."
Deepa Malik, president of the Paralympic Committee of India, said that para sports is becoming a keen interest for abled bodies federations.
"The integration of abled bodies athletes and para athletes is commendable owing to the collaboration and merge between PCI and India Taekwondo. Other federations need to follow suit of India Taekwondo to create such great opportunities to athlete, especially female athletes," she said.