Determined Devendra creates history in France

Determined Devendra creates history in France

Devendra Jhajharia created history by becoming the first differently-abled Indian to win a gold at the IPC Athletics World Championships when he bagged the yellow metal in javelin throw in the sixth edition of the event in Lyon, France.

Jhajharia, also a world record holder in the event which he created while winning the gold in the 2004 Athens Paralympics, hurled the javelin to 57.04M in F-46 category, meant for one-armed athletes, at the Rhone Stadium on Sunday night.

The 32-year-old Rajasthan athlete, whose world record stands at 62.15M, led the 11-athlete field from the very beginning as he opened with a throw of 54.71M. He came up with his best of 57.04 in his sixth and last throw.

Ace Iranian thrower Mirshekari Abdolrasoul won the silver with a throw of 52.62M while Ismail Mahmoud of Egypt was third in 50.22M.

Devendra, who hails from Rajasthan’s Churu district also has the world record in the F-46 category in his name -- 62.15m in Athens Paralympics.

Son of Ram Singh, a farmer, Devendra was passionate about sports from his school days.

“Sport is where an entire life can be compressed into a few hours, where the emotions of a lifetime can be felt on an acre or two of ground,” said Devendra.

Paralympics Committee of India President Sultan Ahmed said Jhajharia will be felicitated when he returns home. The PCI also announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for Jhajaria.

“I think Devendra’s gold medal will boost the paralympic athletes in the country. We have a huge wealth of talent in the country and we have to support them. We are thankful to the sports ministry and the Sports Association of India (SAI) for all support they gave to the athletes for training purpose,” Ahmed said.

With Jhajharia’s effort, India opened their medal account in the Championships organised by International Paralympics Committee and now stands at 19th in the medal tally.

India is represented by a 10-member contingent in the July 19-28 Championships. All 10 athletes have qualified with ‘A’ standard.

The 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships, featuring over 1,000 athletes from nearly 100 countries, is the biggest gathering of differently-abled athletes since the 2012 London Paralympics.

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