Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games:
Asian women to watch out for
Zahra Nemati (IRI) – Para Archery
Arguably the most popular and successful female Paralympian to come from Iran, Nemati is aiming for a historic third Paralympic title in women’s individual recurve open at Tokyo 2020. No archer has won three consecutive Paralympic titles. In fact, at London 2012, Nemati set a Paralympic record on her way to gold in the women’s individual recurve W1/W2. She also has Paralympic silver and bronze in women’s team recurve open. Nemati, who will be one of Iran’s flagbearers at Tokyo, is also the first from her country to have appeared in the Olympics and Paralympics at the same year.
Leani Ratri Oktila (INA) – Para Badminton
The women’s SL4 para shuttler is the biggest hope for Indonesia at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics where Para Badminton is making its debut. The 30-year-old, who has success not only in singles, but doubles and mixed doubles, is hoping to win a triple crown at the Games. At the Basel 2019 World Para Badminton Championships, Oktila claimed three medals two gold (singles and mixed doubles) and silver in women’s doubles SL3-SU5 category. She also has two gold and a silver from the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. In Tokyo, her biggest challenge will be China’s Cheng Hefang in women’s singles SL4.
Guo Lingling (CHN) – Para Powerlifting
Records are set to tumble with the presence of Lingling in the women’s -41kg Para Powerlifting event. Having clinched the World Para Powerlifting Championships titles in Mexico 2017 and Nur Sultan 2019 with world record efforts in women’s -45kg. Lingling would be eager to win her first Paralympics gold medal. She was also the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games champion in -45kg with yet another world record show. Just a few months ahead of the Games, she made her intentions clear breaking the world record in women’s -41kg at the Fazza-Dubai 2021 World Cup.
Sareh Javanmardi (IRI) – Shooting Para Sport
A two-time Paralympic and three-time world champion, Javanmardi will be the player to beat in the pistol events ((P2 women’s 10 air pistol SH1 and P4 mixed 50m pistol SH1). She followed this up with another gold medal at the 2018 World Championships in Cheongju, South Korea, in May and at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games. With her recent form at the Al Ain 2021 World Cup where she equalled the world record to win the P2 title, Javanmardi seems ready to defend her Paralympic titles in Tokyo.
Amilova Fotimakhon (UZB) Para Swimming
The 22-year-old from Uzbekistan was a sensation at the Indonesia 2018 Asian Para Games winning seven medals, including four golds. In the process, she also smashed two world records in as many days giving a strong indication of what was coming next. A gold medallist at the Rio Paralympic Games, Fotimakhon will be a strong contender at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. She will be competing in women’s S13 events.