After battling Covid in ICU, Adhana wins bronze

by DEVANSHI SRIVASTAVA

Singhraj Adhana, 39, got Covid-19 virus in late May and his oxygen level dropped below 50. The diabetic para gunner was only taken to an ICU of a private hospital when a local MLA intervened.

While in the Covid-19 ICU, Singhraj looked at photos of his grandpa, late Subedar Major Sumera Ram Adhana, an Indian Distinguished Service Medal and Military Cross recipient, to stay motivated. Singhraj, who earned a bronze medal in the men’s 10m air pistol event in the SH-1 category on Monday, remembered his struggles before the Paralympics.

“I have had diabetes since 2008. When I became sick in May, it was the worst month of my life. After several frantic efforts to locate an ICU bed, local MLA Rajesh Dagar stepped in. “I kept glancing at the photo of my grandpa in my wallet to encourage me,” Singhraj told The Indian Express from Tokyo.

Singhraj, who had polio at one, walked on crutches until he was 15. Young Singhraj would spend most of his time with his grandpa, who had been granted over 100 acres of property in their hamlet Uchagaon near Ballabhgarh.

Singhraj would administer one of the village’s two schools in addition to contesting the local ward elections, which he lost in 2016 due to demonetization. Taking his 35-year-old nephew Gaurav Adhana to the Faridabad Shooting Range sparked his interest in shooting. “I considered swimming, but I couldn’t stand still in two feet of water,” Singhraj admits.

His performance improved after meeting 19-time international medalist and Asian Championship silver medalist Om Prakash Choudhary.

The shooter had a 50 m range constructed at the family-owned school and a 10 m range erected in the basement of his home last year when the epidemic struck. Due of the lockdown, Singhraj’s wife Kavita pawned her jewellery to a local banker for a loan. “It cost us about 40 lakhs to build both ranges, and his wife Kavita had to give up her jewels to a lender, which we will now recover,” says Udham Adhana.

Due to the Covid problems in the past two months, Singhraj’s blood sugar level would be around 200.

He ate laddos made of traditional flours and drank less milk.

He qualified for the eight-man final with a 569 on August 31, 2021. He’d shoot 9.6 and trail Xiaolong Lou by 0.7. The Chinese’s 8.6 on the 20th shot gave India bronze. The first four-five shots in qualifying showed my body moving to the left. Coach Subash Rana advised me to shoot without fear during my break. I couldn’t quit now after all these years of hard work, therefore that pushed me,” says Singhraj.

The Adhana family knows Singhraj will display his medal beside his grandfather’s. “He can now motivate school children,” says father Prem Singh Adhana.

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