Devi wins Best Youth Athlete at Asian Paralympic Committee awards ceremony in Riyadh

Sheetal Devi winning Asian Award

Indian para archer Sheetal Devi won the Best Youth Athlete award at the fourth edition of the Asian Awards in Riyadh on 27 November 2023. The ceremony, which honours Asian para athletes and officials, is organised by the Asian Paralympic Committee.

Devi earned the award for her medals at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Para Games in October, where she took gold in the individual and mixed team compound events, as well as silver in the compound doubles.

“I am very happy to get this award. This is a big honour to be named the best in Asia,” said Devi afterwards.

“I hope I can continue winning more medals for my nation. I am training hard to get a medal for India at the Paralympics.”

This has been a breakthrough year for the 16-year-old archer, who was born with a condition called phocomelia, and was inspired to take up archery by watching the USA's Matt Stutzman. She is one of several archers without arms that have followed in the US trailblazer’s footsteps. 

Sheetal Devi

Devi, who comes from the Kishtwar region, met Indian prime minister Narendra Modi after her success in Hangzhou, which followed her silver medal at the Pilsen 2023 World Archery Para Championships in July.

She came close to winning the continental title at the Asian Para Archery Championships in Bangkok, too – but lost out to Nur Syahidah Alim in a shoot-off.

Devi also became the world’s number-one-ranked compound woman (para) at the beginning of December 2023. 

The biannual Asian Award is presented in six categories: best male, best female, best youth, best team performance, best photography and exemplary Asian official. 

Main pic courtesy