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Indian visually impaired athletes steal show at Manchester

Mon, 07/30/2012 - 18:09 -- admin

Puneet Singh Gill; Ludhiana; June16, 2005

Four Indian visually-challenged athletes -- Gurpreet Singh, Rajinder Singh, Vivek Monga and Balwinder -- have notched impressive victories at the British Open Athletic Meet held in Manchester . They have won three gold medals and one bronze in this prestigious competition. The meet, which began on June 5, concluded on June 12.

Talking on phone from Mumbai, Gurpreet Singh said, "We are more than satisfied with our performance at the meet since all four of us won a medal each."

Rajinder Singh, who participated in B3 category (visibility up to 6 metres) won the gold in long jump event by covering a distance of 4.5 metres. Participating in B2 category (visibility up to 3 metres), Balwinder finished first in the long jump event by covering a distance of 4.80m.

Vivek Monga finished fist in high jump event by clearing a height of 4 feet 4 inches and Gurpreet was third in the shot put event.

A total of 28 medals -- including 16 gold, eight silver and four bronze -- were won by the Indian contingent that consisted of seven visually-impaired athletes. India finished at the second place in the medals tally.

United Kingdom was at the first place with a total of 32 medals.

Sunil Kumar of Chandigarh , who participated in B1 category (totally blind), won gold at the javelin throw event and picked up a silver medal in the shot put.

Their extraordinary performance has encouraged the authorities to send these athletes to participate in the blind games to be held in Germany from August 9 to 14, 2005.

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