New Delhi, August 20: 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 65 kg category while Sakina Khatun will be competing in the women's 50 kg category. Both the powerlifters shall be competing for medals on August 27 in their respective categories.
Hopeful for a medal, Jaideep in a release said: "We have trained hard for this day. If everything goes well, we can create history and bring a medal home." Sakina Khatun was one of the ten 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 and if we have little bit luck on that day, our powerlifters shall be able to create history."
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. Powerlifting and badminton are the two sports that are making their debut at these Paralympic Games.