Nothing beats a gold medal, and for para-badminton participant Sukant Kadam, profitable one at Uganda Para Badminton International 2021 is a morale enhance after two lengthy years sans a gold. “I played in Dubai, Peru and before that in Uganda too, but couldn’t win the gold. I was disappointed every time I didn’t win… Coming back to gold is an emotional thing for me. I am happy to break the barrier of silver. This gold is very close to my heart,” says Kadam, who is at the moment ranked no. 5 on the earth.
Mention how the Paralympians shone on the Tokyo Olympics, and Kadam couldn’t be extra happier about the identical. “We got a lot of medals in the Paralympics! After that, society has started respecting para athletes and recognising our achievements. Everybody is keeping an eye on how we perform. There’s a lot of appreciation for our results,” he says.
Does that imply extra strain for him? “Whenever there’s support, a bit of pressure is also there. But we look at it in a positive way, that if people are supporting us, we have to perform our best,” Kadam tells us.
The athlete, who lost two of his family to Covid-19, is grateful for his household’s help by way of his “ups and downs”. And now he is making ready for Paralympics 2024 to be held in Paris. “I want to be the best in SL4 (category). That is my ultimate aim,” he tells us.
Ask him if he would need the journey of para athletes on display screen, and he says, “It would be very nice to share the screen with Krishna Nagar and Pramod Bhagat (para badminton players), as a trio. We have a strong friendship, and used to play together. We had a dream of getting three golds for India in Tokyo 2020. But I missed my qualification mark. They were pushing me hard to go on. But before that, we are concentrating on our achievements and have a long way to go! This was para badminton’s debut in 2020. Now we want to focus on the Paris Games.”
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