15 January 2024

History-making paracanoe paddler Prachi Yadav has received a prestigious award from Indian President Droupadi Murmu. 

Yadav was among several athletes to be honoured at the National Sports Awards, allocated annually by India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. 

They were all recipients of the Arjuna Award which is one of India’s highest sporting honours. 

Yadav is the first paracanoe paddler from the Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association to receive this honour. 

Since making the move from para swimming to paracanoe on the advice of her coach, Yadav has gone from strength to strength in the sport. 

Prachi Yadav, Droupadi Murmu, Arjuna Award

Yadav made history in 2021 when she became the first Indian athlete to participate in the paracanoe event at the Paralympics. 

She has since achieved plenty of success at national and continental level and claimed bronze in the women’s VL2 200 at the 2022 ICF Paracanoe World Cup in Poznan, Poland. 

Last year, the Indian starred at the Asian Para Games in Hangzhou, China, securing silver in the women’s VL2 200 and gold in the women’s KL2 200. 

ICF paracanoe development coach leader Jean-Christophe Gonneaud said he first came across Yadav at a talent identification camp in Budapest, Hungary in 2019. 

“Prachi came from swimming so she was already acting like an athlete, so she wants to improve and understand what you are saying and try to find solutions,” said Mr Gonneaud. 

“Her development has been fast and continuous. 

“Every month we can see her evolution and there has been no stop in her progression. 

“Prachi is the leader for paracanoe development in India. 

“She has got a slot for the Paralympics where she will do the Va’a and the kayak and she would like to get at least one medal. 

“She would also like to be a medallist at the Paracanoe World Championships in May – that’s her target.”

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