One of India's leading para-athletes, Devendra Jhajharia, got his break after being spotted by coach, R.D. Singh. The Dronacharya-awarded coach was visiting a school event in 1997, where he first saw Jhajharia competing and the rest is history. Despite bearing the loss of an arm, 'javelin thrower' Jhajharia did not shy away from hard work and rigorous training. After winning his maiden gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics, with a remarkable throw of 62.15 m, he went ahead to win another gold for India in 2016.
Tokyo 2020 Paralympics to start from August 24, 2021
Born in Rajasthan's Churu district, in 1981, this 40-year-old has worked his way to earn a name and now the whole country proudly celebrates his achievements. Jhajharia's left arm had to be amputated almost up to the elbow, when he was just eight years old, after he suffered a jolt from a live wire dangling near a tree that he was climbing. Despite facing such a blow, he was enthusiastic to compete in sports events, which led him to get discovered.
In 2017, Jhajharia became the first para-athlete to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna -the highest award in sports given by the Indian government. Being extremely dedicated to his training, Jhajharia is currently following a strict regimen set by his personal coach, Sunil Tanwar, at the national coaching camp in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat.
Outshining his world record while dealing with personal loss
Despite losing his biggest supporter- his father, to cancer in October 2020, Jhajharia concentrated on his training for the upcoming Paralympic Games. Being confident about receiving gold in Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, Devendra is training hard to extend his record to be remembered by the world forever. Conscious that the career span of a sportsperson is not very long, the 40-year old is well aware that he may not be able to participate in the 2024 Summer Paralympics in Paris.
Dreams cannot be 'thrown' away!
Gold and silver medals in World Championships, silver in the Asian Para Games, one gold at 2002 FESPIC Games in South Korea and the other at the 2016 Asia-Oceania Championship in Dubai, add glitter to Jhajharia's career. The lure of a third gold medal and a world record, is motivation enough for one of India's most successful para-athletes, to keep chasing another dream.
Remarkable contribution of Jhajharia to India in Javelin Throw F46
A segment for the specially-abled athletes, the 'F46' category has become a medium to provide sportspersons like Murlikant Petkar, Devendra Jhajharia and so on, a chance to bring fame to the country. After the news of Neeraj Chopra marking a javelin throw of 87.58 meters in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the world seems to be more inclined towards the sport. But we should not forget the contribution of Devendra Jhajharia, who is the first Indian Paralympic player to have two gold medals, in the Javelin Throw category.