Devendra Jhajharia, on Wednesday, won the Gold medal for the men’s javelin throw F46 event in the Rio 2016 Paralympics. His attempt of 63.97 metres at the Olympic Stadium was a world record and an improvement on the previous record of 62.15 metres set by him in the Athens Paralympics 2004, which earned him his first gold medal.
Jhajharia’s achievement has given India its second gold medal and fourth medal overall in the 2016 Paralympics. Devendra competed in the event alongside fellow Indians Rinku Hooda and Sundar Singh Gurjar. Rinku finished fifth with a personal best of 54.39 metres in six attempts, while Sundar Singh Gurjar didn’t start the event.
The Rajasthan born athlete, with an amputated left hand, was awarded the Arjuna award in 2004 and the Padma Shri in 2012, becoming the first Paralympian to receive the honour.
He was electrocuted while climbing a tree when he was eight years old and his left hand had to be amputated. But that didn’t deter him from pursuing his dreams. The track and field star won gold at the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) Athletics World Championships in Lyon in 2013. He last participated in the Paralympics 12 years ago. The F46 event did not feature in the 2008 and the 2012 editions.
Earlier, Shot putter Deepa Malik on Monday confirmed India’s third medal at the Paralympic Games. Deepa Malik bagged a silver medal in the women’s shotput F53 event, with a personal best throw of 4.61 metres.
Mariyappan Thangavelu had won gold in the Men’s High Jump T42 category on Friday with fellow Indian Varun Bhati taking bronze at the same event.
Devendra Jhajharia’s achievement is being lauded by one and all on social media.
Here are a few reactions from the twitterati:
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) 14 September 2016
— Piyush Goyal (@PiyushGoyal) 14 September 2016
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 14 September 2016
— Radha Mohan Singh (@RadhamohanBJP) 14 September 2016
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) 14 September 2016
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) 14 September 2016
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) 14 September 2016
— Vasundhara Raje (@VasundharaBJP) 14 September 2016
— ajinkyarahane88 (@ajinkyarahane88) 14 September 2016
— Sakshi Malik (@SakshiMalik) 14 September 2016