Subedar Anandan Gunasekaran, a para-athlete of the Madras Engineering Group & Centre (MEG) Bangalore, has qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics 2020.
Gunasekaran won three gold medals in total in the 7th Military World Games 2019 being conducted at Wuhan, China in 100 m, 200 m, and 400-m events. He had recently secured a gold medal in the 200-meter event in Handisport Open Paris 2019, which was considered majorly for his Paralympic qualification.
The 32-year-old who hails from Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu became the fastest in the ‘Disabled Men’s 100m IT1’ event by finishing the sprint in 12.00 seconds. Later, the Indian Army subedar went on to win gold in ‘Disabled Men’s 200m IT1’ and ‘Disabled Men’s 400m IT1’ events finishing them in 24.31 and 53.35 seconds respectively.
Gunasekaran lost his left leg after it was amputated due to a mine blast injury at the LOC in Kupwara district, Jammu & Kashmir during June 2008. An athlete inspired by South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, Gunasekaran started training with a prosthetic leg in 2012, during which he completed a 2.5K run as part of the Mumbai Marathon.
Later in 2014, at the IPC Athletics Grand Prix held at Tunisia, he won gold in 200 m after which he went on to represent the tricolour in the 17th Asian Games held in Incheon, South Korea.
In the subsequent year, he secured gold and silver in the 200 m and 100 m events at the Sri Lanka Army Para Games, Colombo held in September 2015.
In the same year, Gunasekaran also became the first Indian para-athlete in the T-44 category to bag a medal for the Indian Army in the World Para Military Games, breaking the Asian record. He also bagged a gold in 200 m category and silver in 100 m category in the 6th CISM Military World Games 2015 held at Mungyeong, Korea.
Subedar Anandan Gunasekaran of the Madras Sappers recieved by MEG Commandant and his colleagues in a procession in Bengaluru. The 32-yr-old para-athelete had recently qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics. @IndianExpress @IExpressSports https://t.co/cgbkcR9PhR pic.twitter.com/hXG21SMamI
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) November 2, 2019
The track-and-field specialist, in Asian Games 2018 held in Jakarta, won silver in 400 m and bronze in 200 m.
According to a statement released by the Defence PRO Bengaluru. “Subedar Anandan the proud para-athlete of Madras Sappers, has remained devoted and has done the nation proud.”
Subedar Gunasekaran finished the ‘200 m men final T64’ event held in Handisport Open Paris 2019 clocking a time of 24.29 seconds to finish first, to attain Olympic qualification.