Goan athlete Geetanjali Nagvenkar wins gold medal in the Level D 800 metres finals at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games that got under way in Berlin, last Saturday.
Her Goan teammate Asheef Malanur also put herself in contention for a medal as she entered the Level B 800 metres final at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.
The Goan squad has 23 members, including 13 athletes as part of Team India at the Berlin Games that are being held from June 17-25.
Joining Malanur and Nagvenkar was Indian athlete Soham Rajput, also in the Level C 800 metres final.The men’s 4x400m squad has also qualified for the finals, while Libin Mallika Rajakumar made it to the finals of the Level B 200 metres.
Madhav Madan set his eyes on a double as he reached the Level A 25m breaststroke and the Level A 25m Freestyle. Not far behind him was teammate Dinesh Shanmugam in the Level B 50m Breaststroke, and Level A 25m Freestyle.
Another swimmer Abdul Rahman showed fine form while reaching two finals – Level B 50m Breaststroke, Level A 25m Freestyle, while Tinu Moncy made it to the Level A 25m Freestyle final.
There were a few commendable performances in the women’s section as well as Prathna made it to the Level 25m Freestyle final and Aleena Anthony powered her way into the Level B 50m Freestyle final.
“We are pleased with the way our athletes have been responding to challenges before them at this global meeting. We are definitely looking forward to some medals from our Goan athletes,” Victor R. Vaz, National Sports Director of Special Olympics Bharat, noted.
“Our athletes were fortunate to have a strong pre-competition training schedule. There are going to be jitters and butterflies in the stomach, but we expect our athletes to cope with this and return home victorious,” he added.
The 13 Goan athletes in Team India are involved in Futsal (male), Athletics (male and female), Roller Skating (Female), Basketball (male and female), Judo (male and female),unified Volleyball (male and female) and Handball.
Based on the unifying power of sport, the Special Olympics is a global movement that seeks to change the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Held every two years, the Special Olympics World Summer Games Berlin have attracted more than 7,000 athletes representing 190 delegations in 26 different sports disciplines.