Sports

Who Is Sheetal Devi, Asian Para Games 2023 Archery Gold Medalist?

Sheetal was diagnosed with Phocomelia, a rare congenital disorder that causes under-developed limbs but that did not stop her from making it to the top

Sheetal Devi (left) in archery action
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India's Sheetal Devi delivered a scintillating performance as she clinched Gold in Women's Individual Compound Open event, defeating Alim Nur Syahidah from Singapore in a breathtaking match. Devi beat her Singaporean opponent Alim by 144-142 in Finals of Women's Individual Compound Open event to strike gold.(Medal Tally | Full Coverage | Sports News)

Here's all you need to know about Sheetal Devi:
Sheetal Devi is the first female armless archer to clinch a silver medal at the world para-archery championships worldwide. She was diagnosed with phocomelia syndrome when she was born, a condition under which limbs remain undeveloped. “Initially, I could not even lift the bow properly. But, after practising for a couple of months, it became easier,” Sheetal was quoted speaking in The Indian Express.

“My parents always had faith in me. My friends in the village also supported me. The only thing I didn’t like was the look on people’s faces when they realised that I don’t have arms. These medals prove that I am special. These medals are not just mine, but of the whole country,” she said.

What makes her unique is that Devi shoots with the help of her legs and feet. USA's legendary armless archer Matt Stutzman used the similar technique as well.

Her feats included two silver medals and a bronze at the European para-archery cup held in Czech Republic in May this year. Devi also created a world record at the Para Archery Championship 2023 as she clinched a silver medal.

Devi's world championship feat meant that she secured a spot at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.

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