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Delhi’s paraplegic athlete in race for Games

He may lack an arm,but paraplegic athlete Bharat Kapur’s talent is hardly affected because of that.

He may lack an arm,but paraplegic athlete Bharat Kapur’s talent is hardly affected because of that. Kapur,along with 28 other athletes,is the only sportsman from Delhi to have made it to the core-probables training camp for the Commonwealth Games 2010 in the para-games category.

“I still cannot believe it. My coach gave me the good news a few days ago,” says Kapur,20,who might represent India at the 100-m event in the T-46 category of the 2010 Games in New Delhi.

The 35-day training camp,which will be held at the Newham Leisure Centre,London,is meant to condition the athletes to a proper training and diet schedule. The camp will also be attended by sportsmen from across India in other disciplines like swimming,power-lifting and table-tennis.

Kapur was selected for the camp after clocking 11.05 seconds at the Commonwealth Games trials on August 24,conducted at Kengeri,Bangalore,by the Sports Authority of India,where 15 athletes vied for the four slots in 100 m. “I did not think I stood a chance because it was not my best run. I was recovering from an illness,” says Kapur,who has earlier stood second at the IWAS World Junior Athletics Championships in Ireland in 2006. While his favorite event is the 400 m,Kapur is looking forward to be part of the 100-m team. Only three athletes are selected for each event.

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The son of daily-wage labourers,Kapur has been living away from his parents in a shared room in Mayur Vihar Phase-II,borrowing money from his coach and fellow athletes for daily expenses. “Making it to the Commonwealth team will raise my chances for a better future,” he says.

His coach for two years,Satyapal Singh,31,is optimistic about Kapur’s chances of procuring one of the top three spots. “He is a very young and talented athlete and the current national para-national junior champion,” says Singh,who will be accompanying the team to London. The training camp will expose the athletes to sportsmen from other competing countries and international-level facilities.

Kapur has not fully recovered from his bout of flu and is working on his weak points. Due to the congenital lack of a left arm,his body weight tends to shift to his right side,making him lose balance. “I have been taught special training exercises for this. While exercising,I wear a special weight jacket and have exercises to condition the right hand side,” says Kapur.

First published on: 09-09-2009 at 04:10:47 am
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