|Profession||Air pistol para-shooter|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 171 cm
in meters– 1.71 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 6”
|Eye Colour||Dark Brown|
|Hair Colour||Natural Black|
|Coach/Mentor||• Rakesh Thakur
• Jai Prakash Nautiyal
|Awards||• Arjuna Award by the Government of India in 2020
• Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2021
|Date of Birth||17 October 2001 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||20 Years|
|Hometown||Kathura village in Sonepat (Haryana)|
|School||Kundan Green Valley School, Faridabad
|College/University||Faridabad College Hindustan Times|
|Educational Qualifications||Bachelor of Arts Hindustan Times|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father– Dilbagh Singh Narwal
Mother– Santosh Narwal
Grandfather– Choudhary Dalip Singh Narwal
|Siblings||Brother-Manjeet Narwal, Shiva Narwal (Shooter)
Sister– Sikha Narwal (Shooter)
|Sportsperson(s)||• Usain Bolt
• Lionel Messi
Some Lesser Known Facts About Manish Narwal
- Manish Narwal is an Indian Air pistol Para-shooter from the SH1 category. SH1 class consist of athletes suffering from a single-arm or leg disability which may include loss of limb or its dysfunctionality. He came to the limelight with his prolific performance at the young age of sixteen where he won the gold medal in the very first game of his international game. He also bagged the Gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
- Since birth, he is suffering from a right-hand disability which results in failure in lifting this hand even while accepting the medal. In an interview with a youtube channel, he revealed that
“I noticed I was different when I was in the first grade. Something was wrong with my right arm. I cried a lot. I was afraid to be in front of people.”
- He comes from a middle-class background. Since childhood, he wanted to be a footballer, but due to his disability, fate has something better stored for him. In 2016, one of their family friends suggested his father to take him to the 10X shooting academy in Ballabhgarh. His father agreed as he wanted to protect his son from conspiracies and blame in the team’s atmosphere because of that disability. His father then borrowed the money to buy him the air pistol.
- Manish later revealed that
“My father suggested that I take up shooting as it suited my temperament and after I tried it, I liked shooting and decided to pursue it. He said in an individual sport, I will be the master of my own fate and won’t have to take responsibility for anyone’s mistakes.”
- This suggestion completely changed his life and he got instantly connected with sports. His first coach Rakesh Thakur said in an interview that
“He was 13-years-old when he came to my academy. It took him sometime to like shooting. He would shoot for some days and not return. I know his father, so I would call him back. That happened for some days before he started taking interest in 2016. He would hardly talk. It is difficult for differently-abled kids to mingle with others at the start. It was difficult to teach him at first because his holding arm (left) would not get the support, balance from the other arm. He can only move his fingers a bit. So, it took some time to learn the technique.”
- He started shooting with his left hand. During his initial days, he was unaware of generic terms like para-sports or the Paralympic games. He only started practicing due to his love for the sport. He would wake up around 4 in the morning then after the physical workout, he went to his shooting academy. Around 15 hours of practice, he would reach home.
- Once while practicing, Jai Prakash Nautiyal, the High-Performance director of the Indian para-shooting team saw him practicing precise targets. Impressed with his talent, he then decided to train him.
- As time went by, his performance kept on improving significantly. He soon started winning medals at national competitions in his teens.
- In November 2017, he got selected for the World Shooting Para Sport World Cup to be held in Bangkok (Thailand). This was the first time he was playing on an overseas level. He won the gold medal comprehensively in the P1 – 10m Air Pistol Men SH1. His compatriot Singhraj Adhana chipped in with the silver. With that, the total medal tally for India in that event went up to 14. But this was just the beginning.
- In March 2018, he won the silver medal at the 2018 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain. He managed a score of 234.6 in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 category. China’s Xiaolong Lou was the gold medallist (235.6) while Ukraine’s Oleksii Denysiuk bagged in with the Bronze. He was also impressive in the P4 Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 with a score of 525. Avani Lekhara and Rajveer Singh Sekhon were the other star performers from India. By this time, he had 16 and 19 international and national medals.
- In October 2018, the third edition of the Asian Para Games took place in Jakarta, Indonesia where 43 nations participated. 302 members were from India. Manish not only won India’s only shooting gold medal in the Men’s Para Shooting 10M Air Pistol but also broke a junior’s world record. He won the silver medal in the P4 – Mixed 50M Free Pistol category taking India’s medal tally to 72, the highest number of medals in the Asian Para Games history. With that, he also won a quota for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
- His fine form continued in 2019 when he won the gold medal in the P1, P4, and P6 team events and silver in the P1 individual event at the 2019 World Cup held in Croatia.
- He also won the bronze medal in the Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 event along with Singhraj Adhana and Akash at the 2019 World Para-Shooting Championships held in Sydney. In the same event, he managed two bronze medals in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 and Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 categories.
- Soon in late 2019, when the COVID-19 pandemic took over the entire nation, he was forced to remain on the bench for few months. But rather than having a rest, he chose to practice regularly and nurture his shooting skills.
- His hard work paid off when in 2021 he again stole the show with his impressive performance at the 2021 World Shooting Para Sport World Cup in Al Ain (UAE). He won the gold medal in the mixed 50m pistol SH1 individual event surpassing the three-time world champion Iran’s Sareh Javanmardi and his compatriot Singhraj Adhana (with a bronze medal). He finished with 229.1 points, enough to break the world record that was previously held by Serbia’s Rastko Jokic (228.6) in 2019. He also won the silver medal in the P4 – Mixed 50m Pistol SH1 team event along with Singhraj Adhana and Rahul Jakhar.
- But the best performance of his life came in the 16th edition of the Paralympics games held in Tokyo from 24 August to 5 September 2021 where 54 Indian contingents took part. Tek Chand (Shot put Thrower and Javelin Thrower) was the flag-bearer from an Indian side.
- It was a steady start from the youngster as he finished at the seventh spot in his first event which is the 10m air pistol SH1. This tempered the hope of the nation for yet another medal. But he didn’t let down anyone and four days later, Narwal showed his class with a gold in the mixed 50m pistol SH1 category by setting a score of 218.2 in the finals. Singhraj Adhana bagged the silver medal with a score of 216.7.
- It was a tough battle between both of them. Narwal had a bad start in the beginning when he slipped to the sixth spot. But soon he rose up the occasion by holding his nerves under pressure with the score of 19.6 and 19.7 in the 4th and 5th series. Singhraj then dropped to 4th place. Narwal then went to the top-3 position in the 21st shot. Sergey Malyshev of the Russian Paralympic Committee was leading the way. But soon due to his poor performance in the 8th series, saw Narwal and Singhraj making a way towards 1st and the 2nd position with 218.2 and 216.7 points and scrapping a history.
- As soon as he won that gold medal, celebrations erupted in his native village and home. Residents gathered at Narwal’s home and garlanded his 95-year old grandfather. His grandfather joyfully expressed his emotions by saying
“This is the happiest moment for me. The residents of our village have decided to felicitate my grandson once he returns from abroad.”
- After the match, Manish Narwal said in an interview that
“I’m very happy with the gold medal. It was an intense contest and to come good was huge. I was a bit disappointed after the air pistol event but my coaches worked with me and I was able to put up a good performance today.”
- A few days later, he also told the media that
“I am really happy that we both finished in the top two and won gold and silver for our country. I got goosebumps when the national anthem was played. It was a huge moment for me and I will cherish that forever. No feeling can match it. I am just 19 and I have to go a long way. But I will not be sitting satisfied with one gold medal. I can play at least 4 to 5 Paralympics and I am sure I will return with a medal in every edition.”
- After his historical display at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics, the Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar announced INR 6 Crore reward and a government job for Manish Narwal. Narwal owes all his success to his parents, coaches, and all the nationals who supported him on television. He also got a rousing welcome after his arrival at the Delhi airport. He is lauded by some of the Bollywood stars like Kareena Kapoor, Anushka Sharma, and Taapsee Pannu. Abhinav Bindra, the winner of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games gold tweeted
“The greatest gift we as a nation can give to our Paralympic Team and champions is to use this moment as a way to make the disabled population in our country more inclusive. That would be amazing impact leveraging on the power of sport!”