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Who’s Sheetal Devi? 17-YO World’s No. 1 Para Archer & Winner of Arjuna Awards

Arjuna Awardee Sheetal Devi is a para-archer from Jammu and Kashmir who overcame her phocomelia situation to develop into the world’s first armless feminine archer. She not solely claimed medals on the Para World Archery Championships and the Para Asian Video games but in addition emerged as an emblem of breaking boundaries.

On 9 January 2024, para-archer Sheetal Devi was conferred with the distinguished Arjuna Award for her extraordinary accomplishments in para-archery. The teenage lady from Jammu and Kashmir is famend because the world’s first armless feminine archer.

“This present day is particular!! Honoured to obtain the distinguished Arjuna Award from the honourable President of India. Thanks all for the love, help and encouragement,” she mentioned on X (previously Twitter).

Hailing from the Loidhar village of Kishtwar, Sheetal was born with phocomelia, a uncommon medical situation that affected her arm growth. Nonetheless, it didn’t hamper her dedication to pursue archery. She was impressed by watching paralympic swimmer Sharath Gayakwad and blind Indian cricketer Shekhar Naik to pursue sports activities.

In 2021, Sheetal entered into the realm of para-archery when scouts noticed her prowess in archery at a neighborhood occasion that was organised by the Indian Military. Quickly, she started her coaching for para archery on the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board Sports activities Complicated in Katra.

Earlier than her, the coaches had by no means skilled somebody with out higher limbs, however that they had full religion within the younger lady’s dedication.

She obtained steerage from former archer and coach Kuldeep Vedwan. Below his steerage, she developed and redefined her abilities to undertake a method of utilising her ft and legs for capturing. With this, she developed bodily prowess — a vital basis for her pursuit of archery.

In 2022, Sheetal participated within the Junior Nationwide Championships amongst abled archers in Goa. Though she didn’t win a medal in that event, she hogged the limelight together with her distinctive efficiency, leaving everybody spellbound by sitting on a chair and capturing the bow together with her leg.

Whereas different archers satisfaction themselves on their arm power and dexterity, Sheetal credited her legs for this.

And since then, there was no wanting again.

Utilizing her higher physique and decrease limbs to shoot the arrow, she additionally emerged as the primary armless girl to clinch a Para World Archery Championships medal in 2023. She defeated Singapore’s Alim Nur Syahidah 144-142 within the gold medal-deciding fixture.

On the age of 16, Sheetal scripted historical past on the Para Asian Video games 2023 in Hangzhou, China, by profitable three medals — two gold and one silver.

With this, she grew to become the primary Indian girl athlete to assert two gold medals in a single version of the Asian Para Video games. She additionally succeeded in bagging a silver medal within the girls’s doubles competitors.

She continued to showcase her abilities on the inaugural version of the Khelo India Para Video games 2023, clinching a gold medal.

Sheetal has additionally obtained appreciation from the Union Minister of Sports activities and Youth Affairs, Anurag Thakur, who said that the world has to study loads from her. He tweeted, “Sheetal, you’re a position mannequin for the nation and the world; you’ve got made the world acknowledge your ardour, zeal, and onerous work. Might you proceed to push boundaries and encourage us to take action.”

Having carried out brilliantly, Sheetal is now an inspiration for everybody who desires to interrupt free.

Meet Sheetal Devi: Para-Archer From J&Ok Honoured With Arjuna Award: Printed by Instances Now on 9 January 2024.
Sheetal Devi: The inspiring story of India’s armless archer who’s an Asian champion: Printed by Firstpost on 9 January 2024.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

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